Book Review: The Lyre Thief



Title: The Lyre Thief

Author: Jennifer Fallon

Rating: 4/5 stars

Series? Yes.


Book Depository

Disclaimer: I received a copy of this book from Harper Voyager Australia in exchange for an honest review.

Looking for an immersive fantasy with female centric stories, filled with court intrigues and a smattering of romance? Look no more because The Lyre Thief has got you covered. Jennifer Fallon elaborates on her existing series and adds a multitude of dimensional, relatable characters in the process with this new series.


Admittedly, The Lyre Thief is my entry into Jennifer Fallon’s expansive world. She has previously laid down a lot of worldbuilding and history with previous series like The Demon Child trilogy and The Hythrun Chronicles. If you’ve read these series in the past, there’s undoubtedly a layer of the book only long time fans can appreciate. Fortunately, I was not confused at all during the read – as Fallon did a great job of easing her reader into this vast universe. The concepts of gods and various court politics at play and introduced slowly – in fact, I did not realise I was reading a new addition to a pre-existing series until I read the blurb. Most of this is because the events in The Lyre Thief follows a fresh cast of characters and different setting to previous entries in the series.

The story predominantly focuses on a couple of royal siblings: Rakaia – a Princess of Fardohnya, and Charisee – her bastard half-sister, who has served as Rakaia’s handmaiden for most of her life. Although the switched identity structure of the story is a narrative we have seen time and again, the siblings were compelling enough to leave me invested in their ordeal. Rakaia switches position with Charisee as her upcoming nuptial to the elderly king of Hythria approaches – her intentions are self-serving, and thus intriguing. The relationship between the sisters are therefore equally complex.

From the start, Rakaia was no perfect, virtuous princess. She was willing to risk her sister’s life in this swap to save herself from the king’s wrath. Although she has countless monologues to try and justify her decision to herself, the text never lets her escape responsibilities. Similarly, Charisee is no Cinderella – burdened by cruel step siblings. Charisee has brains and ambitions, and has never been happy with her lot in life. The two were perfect foil for one another, and I only wish that they got to share more scenes – as the plot soon split their paths. Here was a sibling relationship that were not all sunshine and rainbows – it was fraught with the tension of class divide and deceit. Yet underneath it all, you could still feel the love the pair ultimately had for one another.

Alongside Rakaia and Charisee, there is a whole host of other POV characters – most with much less page time. Here is where the narrative can confuse me a little, as there was a LOT going on all at once. The characters all hail from different locations and kingdom, and without previous knowledges of the Medalon or Hythrun societies, I sometimes floundered as I felt certain characters are more significant than they appear. I definitely need to track down the rest of the series to catch up on these knowledge. Nonetheless, even the side characters in the tale are compelling. Especially the clash of will between Adrina and her mother in law. Here is a series that has no shortage of richly drawn female characters – all with their own motivation and are unabashedly morally gray.

There’s also a nice helping of romantic storyline blossoming for both Rakaia and Charisee. Their potential love interests are obvious the moment they appear – and I can’t say that the romance are unique, but they are both quite sweet. There is no love at first sight here, although the relationships developed a lot quicker than could be believable. Regardless, the guard and queen trope is one I have a weakness for, so I will be waiting on the progression of Charisee’s love story with bated breath in particular.

As mentioned above, the world building is this book is phenomenal – with a lot of the foundation in terms of myth and history built by existing books. The world is compelling, with a mixture of mischievious gods who walk amongst humans – reminiscent of the flawed deities from Greek mythologies. Yet, the humans are able to hold their own against these forces – equally able to scheme and plot their way around the machinations of divine will. In fact, the title of the book refers to the theft of the God of Music’s token – an event with disastrous consequences as it collides with the lives of our protagonists. I felt a lot of the magic and deities were kept out of this first installment, but I have no doubt that they will gain more prominence as the series progresses.

Overall, I highly recommend this to high fantasy lovers who are sick of seeing dudes at the centre of every destiny-altering event. The ladies are definitely the main players here, and they are fantastic! I would advise reading Jennifer Fallon’s previous series to supplement your knowledge if you can.

29 thoughts on “Book Review: The Lyre Thief

    1. It’s the first in a trilogy. But there’s already two completed trilogies in the same world 🙂 you don’t need to read those first though.

      Liked by 1 person

  1. I’ve never heard of Jennifer Fallons books before but you’ve definitely got me interested in giving them a shot! This sounds so interesting and detailed which is just how I like my fantasy! Great review 😄😄

    Liked by 1 person

  2. I never heard of this book nor Jennifer Fallon. 😅 I’m really curious about this book! I love the cover, your banner and of course, your review. I might check this out!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Same, I actually had never heard of her before this year – which is crazy and where has she been all my life? I am keen to go back and check out her work, as the Demon’s Child’s story sounds especially appealing.


    1. I hadn’t heard of her before this book landed in my inbox. either – which is crazy because she’s so good. Yup, adult series – though the initial plotlines of this had the spirit of a YA (girls switching identities to become royalty and whatnot)


  3. This sounds really good! I haven’t heard of the author, but based on your description, I think I might have to give it a go. Are you planning to pick up the other books in the series??

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Yes I definitely want to check out the others in this series, I wish I had more time to read, these fantasy series takes serious dedication XD
      Thanks for stopping by!

      Liked by 1 person

  4. This sounds really interesting! From your review, the world building makes me want to read this book the most. Do you think it would be better for me to read the other series first to understand the story better or just jump right in into this book?

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I think reading the others in the series will give you a better idea of the world, from what I can gather they all focus on female protagonists (YAY)!


  5. You basically sold me right here –> “recommend this to high fantasy lovers who are sick of seeing dudes at the centre of every destiny-altering event.” MEEEE I RAISE MY HAND WILDLY. 😂 I would love to seem more heroines doing epic heroine things in fantasy, although, I mean, this isn’t YA right? So I probably am a little nervous to go in, but gah, if I can survive books the size of Game of Thrones I’m pretty sure I can tackle any fantasies. *nods* VERY convincing review. ;D

    Liked by 1 person

    1. If you can survive Game of Thrones you can survive anything! I know what you mean, though, adult fantasy series are such a huge investment timewise. Why do they have to all be 500+ pages with 10 volumes?! How will I ever have enough time?


  6. Your reviews are just so amazingggg! I haven’t heard of this title before, but after seeing that cover, and reading your review, I’m so picking this up! I love the idea of the Gods walking amongst the humans, and I’m beyond intrigued by the story surrounding the sisters. Let me go see how much this is on amazon! lol.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks Tika you’re just the greatest! The gods in this book are definitely a bunch of characters, hope you get a chance to check it out.


  7. This looks really interesting. I’d heard of the book before but knew absolutely nothing about it, now I’m pretty convinced this will be a book I want to read. Your review has managed to convince me this is a book for me, now I just need to find me a copy.

    Liked by 1 person

  8. This sounds so interesting! I love high fantasy (even if 99% I’m just totally confused), so I think I will really enjoy this one. I haven’t heard of the world before, but this seems like a nice place to jump in because there’s not heaps of world building, which I sometimes struggle to get through. I’m glad it’s centered around women too – definitely something that is important in high fantasy!

    Denise | The Bibliolater

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I think with high fantasy you definitely have to be willing to let it grow on you with time, as there’s so much more padding and world building. Hope you will enjoy this if you do get around to reading it!


  9. Sounds like an interesting world here, with the gods who walk amongst humans and the wonderful characters here as well. I love the sound of Rakaia, I have a weakness for royalty storylines and although there was a lot going on, it definitely sounds compelling. Lovely review Aentee, I’m glad you enjoyed this one!

    Liked by 1 person

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