The Flute Keeper by Ashley Setzer is the first book in the ongoing The Flute Keeper Saga. It’s a fantasy novel set in the Fay Kingdom on a parallel world to our Earth.
Uh-oh. Parallel world. It seems I read a lot of these recently when it comes to new authors and fantasy books. It seems to be a very common theme, especially with young adult books where the main character is a teenager from our world who magically gets transported to another world that’s filled with magic and monsters. Well, this is no different in that aspect. However, as much as I worry when I start reading these books, I was pleasantly surprised.
Emma Wren is a teenage girl with a smart mouth and an attitude who goes searching for her father who was kidnapped by some magic-using evil man from another world. She gets transported to the world of the Fay and soon realises that she’s entering a dangerous situation involving the Fay and the Slaugh (just how do you pronounce that?). While she’s gone there to search for her dad, she discovers her connection with this world. Emma is a refreshing character that shows a good amount of development, although she does lack some self-control and gets herself into trouble. She meets a couple antagonistic characters that would be important to her quest to find her father, including Lev Hartwig, the young Slaugh who turns out to be not so bad, and the Fay princess Chloe, who is a stuck-up, spoiled princess (kind of stereotypical) who proves to be a likable character. I found that the majority of the good characters are very likable. While there are some pretty dark themes that involve the deaths of some important people, the main characters keep it lighter and they provide a good deal of humour. Setzer used a good balance of humour and seriousness.
The story is pretty straightforward without many surprises, but I feel that this is just a set up for the rest of the story. This is a good introduction to the world and some of the peoples. Emma just wants to find her father and it seems that everyone is trying to judge whether she’s telling the truth or should just be locked away. She has to learn who to trust and finds some good friends. While it’s not complex, the story is easy to read, and I always felt like I wanted to know what was going to happen next. That’s a good thing.
The world of Faylinn is interesting. The main races are not human at all. The Fay and Slaugh are human-like, but have their differences. The Fay seem elf-like, which is unsurprising, because Fay can be another word for elf. I could clearly imagine how the world looked. Setzer did a good job with describing the world, and I’m interested in seeing more of it. I like exploring.
With that said, I do want to read more. I want to see what the future has in store for Emma, Lev, and Chloe. I want to find out if there are more races and lands. I really enjoyed reading this book. I would recommend it to fantasy fans who like a light read, as well as young adult readers. I’d give it 4 out of 5 stars.