I wasn’t sure this would be my kind of book, but it’s about leprechauns, and I love reading about uncommon paranormal creatures/beings, so of course I wanted to read it. And I’m so glad I did because I really liked it!
For starters, I was delightfully swept away by the 1800s Ireland setting where most of the book took place and the atmospheric, fairytale-esque feel of the writing and the story.
Even better was the amazing creativity of the leprechaun aspect! I really want to read more books about leprechauns now, except I feel like all other versions of them would pale in comparison to the version this author has created. The curse on Tommin that compelled him to steal gold was so unique and well-written, and I felt so bad for him. He was ashamed of his stealing, but if a leprechaun went too long without stealing, they’d get itchy hands, then they’d get seriously ill. They could also smell gold, and whenever they stole some, they would get basically drunk on the good feeling it gave them. There were also mentions about things like burying their treasure and creating rainbows. And I loved the way gold and silver and shiny things were described from Tommin’s POV, how they called to him. It was such good writing. Then there was the underground city and the whole leprechaun society, the way they cursed babies and then took them once they got older to teach them and transform them into full-blown leprechauns.
Shame made his face hot as a demon’s cook fire. Yet as much as he regretted stealing the coin, he loved the thing. It sparkled at him, wooing him, stirring his heart more than any girl ever had.
I also loved seeing our modern times through the eyes of a leprechaun when the story jumped forward. Tommin was horrified that people used paper money and credit cards, and online banking was the absolute worst!
And speaking of the jump forward in time, the author did a great job of showing that through Tommin’s perspective. *SPOILER* I’m not really sure why he thought it was the apocalypse and/or that he was in Hell when he woke from the gold-deficiency coma? But the way he was confused by the people in Halloween costumes, terrified of cars because he thought they were giant beasts, confused by all the people talking to themselves while holding metal rectangles to their ears, etc. was fun to read. I felt bad for the guy since skipping forward so far in time would definitely be scary and confusing, but I also couldn’t help but laugh. *END SPOILER*
I had a few small issues with the plot though. It was a bit slow, and it seemed like Eve was the one moving it forward and doing things to reach their goal more than Tommin was. I also think there were a few things that could’ve been explained better. *SPOILER* Why did Lorcan make a female leprechaun if all he needed to be king was seven gold-sons? Seems like it would’ve made more sense to go the safe route of choosing seven boys rather than risk getting caught with a girl. And how exactly did having seven gold-sons suddenly make one king? And why weren’t more leprechauns cursing children more often if that’s all it took to become king? I might’ve misunderstood something there. And if both Tommin and Eve were wanted by the Faerie Council, how were they able to just go about their lives at the end? Was it because they were human that they weren’t in trouble anymore? Because that doesn’t really make sense to me. *END SPOILER*
It also made me uncomfortable that Tommin tried to use charm on “Penny” in order to make her like him more and not turn him down when he asked her on a date or put his arm around her. He didn’t use it for anything more serious than that, and it’s believable that someone would do that, but I still felt uncomfortable because if it had worked on her, it might’ve given her more feelings for him than she would’ve had naturally, and then consent would’ve become a blurred line.
As for the characters themselves, Tommin was a good guy (despite what I just said above). He loved his granny, he cared for the shoemaker he apprenticed under when he was ill, he risked his life for Copper, and he tried to do good things to counteract the thieving. Even when he started turning into a leprechaun, he tried to hold onto his humanity and fought a constant inner battle. Eve was tough as nails. The poor girl had an awful life, being kidnapped, raised, and abused by Lorcan. I didn’t blame her one bit for wanting freedom or revenge. She was also smart and clever and fiercely determined. And I felt terrible for Copper as well. He was also kidnapped and abused, plus forced to be Lorcan’s slave. But Copper was a sweetheart to Tommin and Eve, and he never let Lorcan crush his bright, feisty personality.
Overall, I adored the creativity in this book, I loved this author’s portrayal of leprechauns, and the atmospheric writing and setting really pulled me into the story!
Anyone who likes historical paranormal books, uncommon paranormal creatures, creative stories, and sweet characters.
All sixteen-year-old Tommin wants is to make beautiful shoes and care for his beloved grandmother, but his insatiable need to steal threatens to destroy everything. Driven by a curse that demands more and more gold, he’s sure to get caught eventually.
When mysterious Lorcan Reilly arrives in town with his “niece,” Eve, Tommin believes the fellow wants to help him. Instead, Lorcan whisks him off to the underground realm of the Leprechauns, where, alongside Eve, he’s forced to prepare to become one of them.
As Lorcan’s plans for his “gold-children” are slowly revealed, Tommin and Eve plan their escape. But with Tommin’s humanity slipping away, the fate-crossed pair has everything to lose unless they can find a way to outsmart a magical curse centuries in the making.