A Dark and Hollow Star by: Ashley Shuttleworth

The Hollow Star Saga #1

The Cruel Prince meets City of Bones in this thrilling urban fantasy set in the magical underworld of Toronto that follows a queer cast of characters racing to stop a serial killer whose crimes could expose the hidden world of faeries to humans.

The “ironborn” half-fae outcast of her royal fae family.

A tempestuous Fury, exiled to earth from the Immortal Realm and hellbent on revenge.

A dutiful fae prince, determined to earn his place on the throne.

The prince’s brooding guardian, burdened with a terrible secret.

For centuries, the Eight Courts of Folk have lived among us, concealed by magic and bound by law to do no harm to humans. This arrangement has long kept peace in the Courts—until a series of gruesome and ritualistic murders rocks the city of Toronto and threatens to expose faeries to the human world.

Four queer teens, each who hold a key piece of the truth behind these murders, must form a tenuous alliance in their effort to track down the mysterious killer behind these crimes. If they fail, they risk the destruction of the faerie and human worlds alike. If that’s not bad enough, there’s a war brewing between the Mortal and Immortal Realms, and one of these teens is destined to tip the scales. The only question is: which way?

Wish them luck. They’re going to need it.

storygraph.com

Content Warnings: Grief, violence, depression, disownment, murder, ableism, suicide [off-page], racism, body horror, child neglect and abandonment, death, human trafficking, blood/gore, and drug use.


This book has been on my radar for a bit, and as book two was recently released I knew it was time to dive in. Right off the bat, I knew Shuttleworth was an author who cared about their readers. At the very front under “Author’s Notes,” they discuss the heavy topics that will be covered in the book along with content warnings.

I’m always so excited when an author ensured content warnings are listed within their book or on their website. As someone who’s used reading as an escape for years [woohoo childhood trauma 😅], it’s important that I avoid certain subjects or at least have ample warning to prepare myself, emotionally, ahead of reading. Any author, or publisher, that puts that little bit of effort to list potential content warnings will always have a special place in my heart.

Nausicaa, formerly known as Alecto, is a fallen fury. Taking vengeance into her own hands and exacted revenge on those responsible for hurting her dearest sister so badly that her sister ended her own life, she had no regrets. Nausicaa now spends her immortal life finding new ways to annoy and anger the Fae.

Arlo the daughter of a Fae mother and a human father is determined to find her place in the world. Never fully fitting in with the Fae, as so far she’s shown very little ability in magic, she’s struggled to find where her strength lies and where her future will take her.

Vehan, the prince of Seelie Summer, has had questions for the last few years so when things start happening he’s set on finally finding answers and solving the mystery that’s haunted him.

Aurelian, Vehan’s retainer and steward in training, is determined to protect the prince at all costs…even if that cost is creating distance between the two. Hiding a huge secret is hard but Aurelian will do whatever it takes to protect the prince physically, mentally, and emotionally.

We also get to see the inner thoughts of someone who despises the ruling Fae and is set on a path to destroy them… but I don’t feel like writing about them. 😋

I enjoyed seeing pieces fall into place and forces joined though we definitely don’t get every question answered in this book. Shuttleworth has set up quite a few questions that I’m thinking will be elaborated on and answered within book two. I didn’t quite get the found family trope I was hoping to get within this book, as all four characters I talked about aren’t super close yet, but I’m hoping that we’ll see friendships and relationships continue to grow in book two which will give that overall found family feeling.

Overall getting to know all the characters, except the one I refuse to write about 😤, was so much fun and I look forward to seeing where book two takes us. If you’re looking for a fantasy where most of the characters are still finding themselves and finding their inner strength, I recommend giving this book a go!


Published by Noelle Loves Books

Growing up, Japanese and Indigenous, it was hard to find books that showcased stories and worlds that accurately portrayed Noelle’s experiences. Fantasy quickly became her main love, as you could really be anyone, anywhere. As the years went on, and technology grew, Noelle was finally able to see more stories and authors that looked and felt like her. Noelle is open to all genre’s though she can mostly be found reading own voice, fantasy, and romance. Ratings: 5 Stars: Completely blew me away 4 Stars: Loved the story but didn't feel completely blown away by it 3 Stars: Liked the overall concept of the story but either had poor execution, had a lot of plot holes, or was written poorly 2 Stars: I struggled to understand the plot, poorly written, or just had really unlikeable characters along with a poor writing 1 Star: Horribly written, major plot holes, or extremely unlikeable characters and plots.

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