Unseelie dealt with the subject of autism and changelings in a delightful manner. While it is well-known in the autism community that the idea of changelings was often used as an explanation in the past for when children displayed symptoms of autism. This book takes the idea of that mythology on its head. The book focuses on two sisters Iselia “Seelie” Graygrove and her twin Islode. They are estranged from their home due to something an incident that happened with Seelie’s powers and having to keep themselves and her family safe.
In trying to gain some gold to keep themselves alive they end up running afoul of a powerful family and Raze and Olani, another pair of thieves who are also trying to keep a powerful secret. The four of them end up getting drawn together trying to find an item that links itself to Seelie and trying to keep themselves away from those chasing after them.
This adventure leads them across the kingdom and onto all sorts of adventures, but this is mostly a heist story about finding your family with a focus on the main character’s (Seelie’s) autistic experience, it pays particular attention to meltdowns and overstimulation.
I found Unseelie to be a 4.5 Star book. The characters were all memorable including the villains but I’m not mentioning them here for no spoilers. The magic system that the characters worked under made a lot of sense too, which was especially good because, in the end, the author twisted it on its head in a way that required believability in it. The whole heist plot was intriguing but in the end, I just simply enjoyed the interactions between the characters and the time we spent in Seelie’s head the most. Definitely one of my top books of the year so far.