Book Review: What Fate Portends (The Frost Arcana Book 1) by Clara Coulson

Half-fae Vincent makes a living in the post-apocalyptic world by venturing out of the fae-protected safe zones to retrieve lost objects, but when a young man comes to him for help finding a family heirloom that was sold at a black market auction, Vince ends up in over his head. The object is more than what it seems, and it's up to Vince and his old partner from his days as a cop to save the city.

Book Review: What Fate Portends (The Frost Arcana Book 1) by Clara Coulson | reading, books, book reviews, paranormal/urban fantasy
Title: What Fate Portends
Book Number: Book 1
Pages: 216
My Rating: 4 Stars
More Info: Goodreads, Amazon


*I received an ecopy of this book from the author. This has not influenced my review.*

Set in a post-apoc world ruled by powerful fae, this urban fantasy about a half-fae ex-cop had me gripped from start to finish. The pacing was balanced with just the right amount of action-packed and magic-filled fight scenes, intriguing moments of mystery and creeping around, and slower scenes of character introspection.

The main character, Vince, was one I could root for. He was just a tiny bit snarky, but not too much. He wasn’t overly perfect, but he was a good guy. He clearly has some emotional scars in his past, but the reader didn’t get to learn much about that yet. I’m hoping to get to know him a bit more in the next book. Saoirse was also easy to root for. She was kind and understanding but also kicked butt and didn’t back down against all the fae bad guys, even though she was just a human.

There was no romance in this book, but it’s still early in the series, so there’s always a possibility of a future romance subplot, whether with Saoirse or someone else. (I wasn’t clear on whether Vince had ever had feelings for her or not.)

I can tell you what this book did have though: faeries! And these were some intense, scary, powerful fae. The main character included. It was also clear that the author did some research to create her version of things, with the different types of fae and their homelands and histories.

As for the setting, it was a post-apoc world with some safe cities that are protected and run by the faeries. Society was a little different, but not drastically so since there was still an economy and homes and businesses within the safe cities. This is another thing I’m hoping to get to know more about in the next book.

Also, as I’m finding is typical for this author’s books, there was some relevance to the real world. Not in a preachy way, just things like prejudice.

Overall, this was a solid start to a new post-apoc urban fantasy series!


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  1. Stephanie Jane

    I struggle not to always think of Tinkerbell fairies when I read faeries, even though I know the two are very different! This book sounds like an education in part. Does it actually have a self-contained story or did it feel more like an introduction?

    1. Kristen Burns

      I guess I’ve read enough faerie books to stop thinking of them like that XD It does have a complete plot (there’s a goal, it’s either achieved/not achieved by the end), however it’s also clearly the beginning of something bigger to come.

  2. verushka

    You know what, I think this is the first book I’ve seen that combines the fae with a post-apocalyptic world. It’s a unusual combination for me, but clearly this author makes it work

  3. Tanya @ Girl Plus Books

    I typically enjoy Fae stories and this one sounds totally entertaining. My latest foray into UF was a big fail (the story was okay but the audio narrator was *Horrible*) so I’m definitely on the look-out for something new to try.

    1. Kristen Burns

      There are very few audiobooks out there that I can deal with, sorry to hear you ended up with such a bad one! This author has a few UF series, if you want to check those out too πŸ™‚

  4. Danya @ Fine Print

    I let out an audible “oooh” when I saw this cover, because it’s SO NICE…especially for UF which let’s be honest, can be a bit trashy when it comes to cover art. And not always in a good way lol. Scary and intense fae + solid pacing sounds great to me, and even though I usually love romance I’ll admit I’m intrigued by the lack thereof (so far).

    1. Kristen Burns

      It is very eye-catching! I like the colors. This is definitely a solid UF. She also has the City of Crows series though, and I think you’d like that one too! (Although it also doesn’t have much romance.)

  5. Greg

    I haven’t read a lot of post apoc/ fae mashups and I’m kinda curious. Plus the fact that the fae here are scary and powerful appeals to me as well. Saoirse (love that name)- I always like it when a human can hold their own in a UF tale, since they’re usually way underpowered compared to whatever they’re going up against. I read one like that not to long ago where the human was a guy (and the love interest) and man did he get knocked around lol.

    I like the idea of having to venture outside of safe zones too, to find stuff.

    1. Kristen Burns

      Yeah I don’t think I have either. You always say you want to read more UF, maybe you’d like this one? I had to look up on YouTube how to pronounce Saoirse lol. But yep, it’s nice when the humans don’t back down from the paranormals! In this author’s other series that I read, the MC is a human, and he never goes a whole book w/o ending up in the hospital lol, but he still fights!

      The safe zones are an interesting idea.

  6. Di @ Book Reviews by Di

    Hmm. Urban Fantasy that hid you gripped from the start…. I might have to look out for this one. I have been meaning to try more UF since I haven’t had great luck with it but Annette Marie books have kind of pushed me to try again. Plus this one with Fae? It’s interesting. And a new take is something that I am all good for plus post-apoc (love it in S&S) and Fae? Looks good for me!

    Great review!

  7. ShootingStarsMag

    Yay for good pacing! That’s always a plus, especially with genre books. I kind of like that there isn’t romance in this one – it allows the rest of the story a chance to shine, you know?


    1. Kristen Burns

      This author always manages to nail the pacing in her UF books. And yep! I’ve found within the past year or so that it’s nice to read book without romance, or without much of it, sometimes!

  8. Daniela Ark

    hi Wifey! Stopping by quickly to say thank you for visiting me while I was MIA and that I miss visiting your blog and that I hope to catch up with your posts soon! I don’t read about fae because I still have the cutesy Tinkerbell image in mind LOL so I love that your post reminds me that there different kinds and that they can be powerful and scary πŸ™‚ a post-apocalyptic setting maybe be the thing that would convince me one day to give them a try πŸ™‚

    1. Kristen Burns

      Hi! I knew I missed a couple posts, so I just went and commented on those too πŸ™‚ I’ve been so behind on bloghopping, so I’ve basically just been returning visits whenever anyone comments. Girl, you need to read some fae books already if you’re still thinking of Tinkerbell πŸ˜› I feel like you’d like the fae??? Like, they’re usually scary and tricky and stuff.

  9. Lola

    The combination of a post apocalyptic world and the fae seems quite interesting. I actually saw this one around recently and the noticed you were reading it on goodreads, so I was waiting to read your review of this one. I like the sound of how it has action, magic and mystery, as well as some character introspection.

    Good to know he was snarky, but not too much. Sometimes in books the snarky”ness can be a bit too much. And I like the sound of hm being a good guy, but not perfect. seems more realistic that way.

    The world building surrounding the fae and how the author portrayed them sounds well done. I don’t read about the fae too often, but I like it if the author can make them a bit scary and intense. Great review!

    1. Kristen Burns

      I agree, snarky has become just an overdone UF trope, and oftentimes it’s just kinda mean. But this author writes good characters who are snarky without being mean (unless the person deserves it) and have other aspects besides their snark.

      It’s definitely interesting and fun when fae are just as scary and intense as any other supernatural! Thanks πŸ™‚

  10. Dani

    I found this series earlier this month but haven’t started it as yet. I couldn’t resist when I saw Fae and post-apocalyptic. They are my two favorite themes in urban fantasy. Your great review has me excited! β™₯️