Book Review

Review: Unseelie

Unseelie

Written by: Ivelisse Housman

Inkyard Press

2022

Unseelie gives neurodivergent and autistic readers Iselia, a heroine who embarks on a quest that allows herself to accept her power and embrace her identity.


A powerful read, Unseelie captures the reader’s attention all while following Iselia, also known as Seelie, on an adventure to find treasure with her twin sister.

Brilliant Characterization

What I loved most about Unseelie was Iselia and what she represented. Iselia is autistic. She is high functioning, but at times, it also appears that she is neurodivergent. Iselia struggles a lot with her identity as a changeling. As a changeling, she is not her sister’s twin but a fae imitation. Their mother went into the fae courts and left with both children instead of choosing one over the other.

This incident also gave Seelie fae powers that she sometimes struggles to control, resulting in an incident that forced her and her sister to go on the run and turn to a life of thievery.

Seelie struggles with the magic that runs through her veins and feels less than human. Her sister, Isolde, loves her dearly, and together they have carved a life for themselves in their enchanted wagon. But when a heist goes wrong and not only saddles them with a pair of partners and the ire of a powerful enemy, Seelie is forced to learn to embrace her magic.

I love her personality and her struggles, not to mention how she sees the world. Through her mannerisms and thought process, anyone reading this can tell that she is on the spectrum. However, that is not because it relies on stereotypes or tropes.

Iselia is a very real person, and the reader can tell the author, who is autistic, used her personal experiences to give her life. The way Seelie processes the world and information, the way she struggles to express her feelings and thoughts, show the reader who she is and how she struggles every day, not only with others but also with accepting herself.

This makes Unseelie very descriptive, but that only adds to the story and plot, making for some tense moments and some humorous ones.

What also worked really well were those character dynamics. The characters push Iselia, accept her, and together they form their little family, saving one another from their enemies.

Final Thoughts

From beginning to end, Unseelie was immersive. Seelie is on a journey toward acceptance and embracing her power. And the cliffhanger and baby dragon at the ending has me itching to get my hands on the sequel.

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A Fantasy with Neurodivergent Rep | Unseelie Review

Unseelie gives neurodivergent and autistic readers Iselia, a heroine who embarks on a quest that allows herself to accept her power and embrace her identity.

8.7
Character Development:
8
Couldn't Put It Down-ness:
9
Writing Development:
9

Cynthia Ayala-Bujnicki majored in Writing and Publishing from Emerson College. Editor-in-chief of Cyn's Workshop, she loves to read and write while tending to her pepper plants. She currently lives in South Florida with her husband, two kids Dante and Selene and two furbabies Mr. J the Kitten who Thinks He's Batman (yes, that is his full name) and Nyx.