Ora and the Old God by Sarah Day is a new take on what we know about fairy stories. In Ora and the Old God, we follow Ora as she tries to save her brother.
Ora has wanted to hunt in the forest for as long as she can remember. Her mother has always forbidden it, for reasons Ora does not know. Ora’s brother, Hademar, has been secretly taking her out anyway. Her uncle Lupin has been training her with a sword whenever possible. On her 17th birthday, Ora will be a woman and can go hunt despite her mother’s wishes. However, the night before her 17th, her uncle Lupin tells her a secret: her birth was not under normal circumstances.
When Ora and Hademar go out to hunt, they are captured by fae, and Hademar is turned into a pig. Ora is taken, and thus starts the journey of finding out who she really is, how to save Hademar, and what the start of a new war will mean.
“She liked the sensation of being small under those heavy skies, but she loved the forests more, even if her mother told her to stay away from the dark old growth.”
This story was an interesting way of telling a new tale with well-known elements. The world-building was actually quite fun and never felt boring. Day explains the different types of fae and magical creatures in a way that feels natural and less like being taught a history lesson.
The characters as a whole, however, did not feel to particularly have any depth. I often forgot that Ora was 17, mistaking her for a much younger character regularly. Tyg is evil, and that’s as deep as her depth seemed to go- she had one goal, and nothing would get in her way. I think that there was room for more character development as the story moved along.
This felt similar to A Court of Thorns and Roses by Sarah J. Maas, except for a younger more PG audience.
I would like to read the second book in the series, as I think it would give more room for growth. We still have many questions about Ora, what she is, and how she became that way. Additionally, I have curiosities about Tyg who- admittedly is my guilty pleasure favorite. Genuinely, I’ll be watching closely for this second book to find the answers to these questions!