The Kingfisher's Debt (Paperback, 2018, Ifwg Publishing Australia) 4 stars

Review of "The Kingfisher's Debt" on 'Goodreads'

4 stars

I think the speed with which I read this one is testament to how much I enjoyed it. Sorry family, I am indeed behind on dishes, etc. And sorry to my readers, I did put off a day of writing to read.

As others have mentioned, there is some time-hopping between "present day" and the MC's teenage years. It took a few chapters for me to get into partly for this reason -- a lot of characters to meet -- but I liked how it let us see the MC's teenage romance develop, which definitely affected how I felt about things happening in the present timeline. And I'm all about feelings.

This is Urban Fantasy. And it's Urban Fantasy set in NZ. There is snark. The author is a master of snark.

Partly due to the snark, I was concerned that I would be dealing with an unreliable narrator, which had me nervous for the first quarter or a third of the book. But eventually, as I settled into the MC's way of thinking/working, I just found it delightful.

Probably my biggest trip ups was picturing the local settings. I grew up around the corner from St Clair beach, so I know it very well, and my dad had a business near the Court House, so same thing. The details were not overly important to the enjoyment of the story, I don't think, so I feel that people from outside of Dunedin (or even NZ) could still enjoy the story for the essence of the story itself. Although, yes, there are some details that will give a local a bit of a chuckle but might pass a non-local by. No biggie, though. Some of the NZ-specific and, of course, Māori terms may confuse many around the world, but I say understanding is not essential to the overall enjoyment of the story.

There were times when the story jumped back to the present where I just wanted to get back to the past to watch romance blossom, and then later I wanted to leave the past behind to get back to the present-day developing drama... I think this added to the page-turning, rather than detracted.

So, Urban Fantasy:

Crime/mystery -- check
Romance -- check
Romeo/Juliet family/clan politics and the ensuing drama -- check (instead of vampires/werewolves, it's Fairies/Elementals)
People who know about magic/Muggles -- check

I think if you are a Urban Fantasy fan with NZ ties, you can't go past this one. But I think it's got potential to find a broader audience, too.

Go forth and read!

PS: There be swearing, just in case you're bothered by that.