Savage Lands – Stacey Marie Brown

Genre: Fantasy
Publisher: Self-Published
Pages: 436
Release Date: October 20, 2020

Almost twenty years after the barrier between Earth and the Otherworld fell in the Fae Wars, Budapest is balancing on the precipice. A battle for dominance is brewing between the elite fae and the privileged humans in Eastern Europe. The prejudice between the sides is bubbling with hate and violence. 
Nineteen-year-old human, Brexley, has grown up in privilege, but not without heartbreak. After being orphaned, she is taken in by General Markos, living in a walled city rife with power grabs and ruthless political games. Then one night the course of her life changes, and Brexley is thrown into the most feared prison in the east. Halalhaz, the House of Death—where you go in but don’t come out. 
She must learn to live with the worst of fae and human criminals. The rule of hierarchy puts humans on the bottom, where the only way to survive each day is to make alliances with the fae.
Here she meets the sexy, vicious legend, Warwick Farkas. A myth among man and fae. He is as brutal, cruel, arrogant, and as lethal as the lore says he is, ruling the prison with unchallenged authority. Brexley can’t deny an intense draw to him, one that might cost her life.
If The Games don’t take her out first—
A fight to the death where only one survives.

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I picked up Savage Lands because I’ve seen it recommended over and over on BookTok for those looking for romance/fantasy novels. I enjoyed Savage Lands, but the lack of answers was incredibly frustrating.

Savage Lands follows Brexley, a human in a world where the humans are at war with the fae. Brexley has been hidden away in the walled city and trained her whole life to fight against the fae making her a fairly competent fighter, but ignorant to the outside world. This ignorance is tested when she’s thrown into prison.

Savage Lands has some Divergent vibes at the beginning of the novel and I loved it. Brexley is competent, yet naïve. She’s an easy character to like despite her naiveté. Also, despite growing up in an environment that allowed her to thrive, she’s able to acclimate to prison life quickly. This felt a little jarring since Brown barely spent time developing Brexley’s past to show readers why Brexley is the way she is.

What I disliked most about this novel was the lack of answers. It was frustrating to say the least. Savage Lands ends and Brexley, along with readers, are no closer to understanding why what happened in the book happened and the larger world. Additionally, there is little to no explanation regarding the magic system other than the basics used for fae. There are hints of something else going on, however there are no answers or even hints of an answer.

Overall, Savage Lands is an interesting first novel that hooked me, but failed to leave me fully satisfied. The lack of answers and shaky world building diminish what Savage Lands could have been.

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Have you read Savage Lands? What did you think?

2 thoughts on “Savage Lands – Stacey Marie Brown

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