cover image The Last Changeling

The Last Changeling

Chelsea Pitcher. Llewellyn/Flux, $11.99 trade paper (360p) ISBN 978-0-7387-4084-3

In a matter of weeks, the faerie princess Elora infiltrates the mortal world disguised as a dead runaway, in hopes of luring a teenage boy to bring peace to her realm. Instead she meets 17-year-old Taylor, an outcast at school and at home since the death of his brother, who innocently takes her in. In the first of a two-part chronicle, Elora and Taylor take turns narrating their backstories and illuminating their growing attraction amid more typical teenage problems like preparing for prom and not quite fitting in. Pitcher (The S Word) includes some topical material, including discrimination against gay students and a lecherous coach who ogles the cheerleaders, but spends far more time on the blossoming (and taboo) sexual tension between Elora and Taylor. However, the enjoyable, erotically tinged romp only skims the surface of the characters’ deepest flaws and concerns. For all of Taylor’s tremendous guilt over his role in his brother’s death, the truth behind the younger boy’s demise is anticlimactic, and Elora’s history is given little ink. Ages 12–up. Agent: Sandy Lu, L. Perkins Agency. (Nov.)