Filia and the Fall Festival

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Filia and the Fall Festival: A Little Mermaid Retelling by Leialoha Humphreys (Autumn Fairy Tales book 1)

Filia has a secret she can never tell, and a betrothal she can’t break. Dawson is ready for peace, but his political engagement stands in the way of his happiness.

The Fall Festival in Alpenglow is a time for reconnecting, cozy fires, pumpkin flavored treats, and stunning views. But will Filia and Dawson be able to uphold their royal obligations, or will their feelings for each other be like pumpkin spice in August?

“Perhaps autumn isn’t about death, but more about letting go.”

Honor and doing the right thing are huge themes in this book. Filia hides her secret past because she’s afraid of setting a bad example for her sisters and causing her kingdom harm. But when it comes to upholding promises, she’s less concerned.

Okay, this might just be a me-thing, but I really struggle with books that treat betrothals as minor inconveniences and as not promises that should be kept and expectations of fidelity to be upheld. More than once, Dawson ignores Filia’s requests to not seek her out alone or not kiss her. And he shows zero consideration for his own fiance, who also happens to be present at the festival. Filia at first is concerned about her betrothal, but quickly gets over it. With all her stress of being good and perfect, I found it odd that she would have so little regard for her promise to her fiance.

The fall festival is full of the best parts of autumn, and it’s so much fun to see it through Filia’s eyes, as she’s never experienced it before. The descriptions of the colors, the smells, the food are almost enough to make me wish summer were over and sweater-weather would arrive. (Almost. I don’t like cold.)

I’ve not read any of the other books by Humphreys, but I suspect this book will be a favorite of those who love her Incandescent Kingdoms series. And I can’t wait to read more in her world!

4.5 Roses (Rounded up to 5)
A few kisses, nothing more
No swearing
No detailed injuries

(Thank you to the author for the ARC of this book. This is my honest review.)