Book Review

The Fairy Bargains Of Prospect Hill By Rowenna Miller

The Fairy Bargains of Prospect Hill

  • Author: Rowenna Miller
  • Genre: Fantasy
  • Publication Date: March 28, 2023
  • Publisher: Redhook

Thank you to Redhook and Angela Man for sending me a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.


In the early 1900s, two sisters must navigate the magic and the dangers of the Fae in this enchanting and cozy historical fantasy about sisterhood and self-discovery.

There is no magic on Prospect Hill—or anywhere else, for that matter. But just on the other side of the veil is the world of the Fae. Generations ago, the first farmers on Prospect Hill learned to bargain small trades to make their lives a little easier—a bit of glass to find something lost, a cup of milk for better layers in the chicken coop.

Much of that old wisdom was lost as the riverboats gave way to the rail lines and the farmers took work at mills and factories. Alaine Fairborn’s family, however, was always superstitious, and she still hums the rhymes to find a lost shoe and to ensure dry weather on her sister’s wedding day.

When Delphine confides her new husband is not the man she thought he was, Alaine will stop at nothing to help her sister escape him. Small bargains buy them time, but a major one is needed. Yet, the price for true freedom may be more than they’re willing to pay.

I was hoping that this one would be more like The Magician’s Daughter by H.G. Parry, but it wasn’t quite what I found. And while I was planning to finish this one, I found that I kept putting it down and not picking it up easily again. Ultimately, this was one of the rare ARCs that I actually DNFd. I read through 22.5% before giving up.

Since I DNFd before reaching even a quarter of the book, I chose not to assign a star rating. I didn’t feel like I had read enough of the story to accurately rate it, especially since the plot hadn’t really emerged fully yet.

I always try to point out what I liked first, and there were a few things that I did like about this book. The writing is beautiful, and easily transports me to the early 1900s, where I can easily find myself empathizing with the plight of the sisters. I especially liked the relationship between the sisters. Alaine and Delphine are very different from each other, and have both different interests and goals for their futures. Alaine is happily married and running the family orchards, which she seems to be doing very successfully for the most part. Delphine is more focused on ladylike pursuits, such as art and getting married, even if her marriage will take her to another town. Even so, these two women manage to find common ground in their sisterhood and have each others backs no matter what. They’re able to set aside anything that is going on to be there for the other one. I also couldn’t help but love how Alaine was always aiming high, and not letting the simple fact of being female hold her back.

However, I struggled with how slowly the story moved along. I liked how things were going, but by where I got to, the plot wasn’t really evident yet. I only knew what was going to happen because of the blurb that I had read, and the story wasn’t really moving. There weren’t any surprises, because nothing had really happened. Even the wedding that was brought up was glossed over. And while the misogyny that occurs in the story was common for the times, it was so frustrating to see it come up so often.

Ultimately, I knew it was time to make the decision to DNF because I kept putting this book down and having a harder and harder time picking it back up. I even found myself more motivated to read books that I normally wouldn’t be racing to pick up, just to prolong picking this one up. And it isn’t because there’s necessarily anything wrong with this one, it’s just because it isn’t a good fit for me.

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