Genres: Dark Fantasy, Romantic Fantasy, Fantasy | Release Date: 16 January 2024 | Standalone | Pages: 439 | Publisher: Blackstone Publishing | Review
A huge thank you goes to Christy Healy for letting me read an ARC of her debut novel, Unbound! This dark romantic fantasy is immersed in Irish mythology, even as it also brims with grief, monsters and deadly quests. Have I intrigued you? Let’s give you an overview!
Rozlyn has never known what it’s like to be living without fear of the Beast of Connacht. This dreaded monster tears into the populace of the kingdom, and her father (the king) is unable to break the curse from which it came. Locked away in a tower, Rozlyn’s told that she can free the kingdom from this darkness if a man wins her heart. But who would be willing to brave her scorn and the monsters plaguing the land? And what happens when her suitor, Jamie, breaks the fragile trust formed between them? Can a curse ever become a blessing?
Unbound is such a phenomenal dark fantasy fairytale, I’m so glad this was my first read of 2024! Christy has saturated every page with myths and magic, including the symbolic power of three (in the three quests assigned to Jamie) and the terrifyingly powerful monsters of Irish folklore. It’s rare when I get to say I’m enchanted by a story, but Unbound achieved this with ease! It’s a story with a rich heart, where every sentence is a delight.
I need to talk about the themes in this romantic fantasy. Because the journey Rozlyn goes on? Her grief, her self-loathing, the terrible darkness which impales her heart… This character learns to forge herself anew, becoming stronger and more resilient. Rozlyn is a queen and I’m so in love with how she adapts throughout the story! And you know what? Rozlyn also doesn’t take a step back when a certain demand is made of her. I *love* this, because how often does a tale end with a neat and tidy HEA these days? This is a HEA, but not like you’d expect… And that’s a huge gift for readers!
Unbound is a tale of darkness, monsters and malice. It’s about gods and power, and is done to *perfection*. Big call? Yes. But if you love Irish mythology and romantic fantasy, this story will be your new favourite read. I got vibes of Jennifer Fallon’s Tide Lords saga and Kate Forsyth’s Witches of Eileanan series, so I cannot give higher praise than that!
I have no downside for this fantasy!
Unbound by Christy Healy is a truly incredible dark romantic fantasy full of monsters, mythology and malice. Every time I turned a page, something new leapt at me. This beautiful story is so mesmerising and I cannot wait to see what else Christy writes in the future. Will I be following her profile on Amazon for news? Yes, yes I will. And if you love the sound of this beautiful book from my review? Just click any of the links below to pre-order a copy! Happy reading, glitterbugs!
You can pre-order Unbound via these links: