This is the first of Walton’s work that I’ve read – picked from the library as I didn’t want to commit to a new series, and just wanted a stand-along fantasy novel. It is in a style that at first it would be possible to miss it being fantasy, if it wasn’t for the unicorn sticker on the spine.
I found Mori to be a compelling heroine, working out her own morals for magic and coping with the after-effects of a traumatic event. She has to deal with dramatic family changes, and a new boarding school. She manages all this through science fiction books. I did find some of the reading information a little tedious, I don’t want to deal with this much name-dropping.
Then we get onto the fairies. And the magic. She has had it all her life, and still does the “kid” things to make magic happen and change her life. But in the background is the shadow of what her mother did. Entirely shadow for much of the novel, with hints of horror, but thankfully the veils are lifted on this, and we understand what has shaped Mori.