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Reviewed by Jessica Barbosa for Readers' Favorite
Flintelf is book one of the Exili's Excellent Elucidation Services series by Victoria Bastedo. All his life, Exili has been told he has an amazing sensitivity to the environment around him. His feet had more deciphering ability than other farrises. He was also clever and good at reading other clues, but what good was all that if he couldn’t put his skills to work? Exili places his sights on a new client, a flintelf called Goodall. Flintelves were communal creatures who liked to live together in their treehouse apartments, so it was unusual for Goodall to go out walking alone as he tended to do. He knows Goodall’s life is in danger, so he extends the flintelf an offer hard to refuse: hire Exili to prevent his murder. Goodall refuses Exili's Excellent Elucidation Services, but Exili is determined not to let this end the same way as his first client’s untimely demise. It doesn’t matter if Goodall refuses, Exili will save his life, and his old schoolmate is just going to have to let him.
Flintelf caught my attention from the first intriguing chapter. Exili is such an interesting and unique character. He is self-assured in his brilliance and straightforward in dealing with others, but this straightforwardness often makes others think he is strange. His interaction with Goodall in the first chapter amused me. He insists Goodall should hire him to prevent a future murder plot. I could understand Goodall’s disbelief, to be told that someone is out for his life and in nearly the same breath to be told to hire the person insisting he is in danger. Even though it turns out Goodall knew more than he was letting on, I, too, would have probably refused Exili’s Excellent Elucidation Services because of how suspicious it is. But since Exili is such a quirky and fascinating character, I probably would have gone along with it too!
I thoroughly enjoyed the interactions between the two old schoolmates, and I had fun following them on their journey and growth. The first book of Exili's Excellent Elucidation Services series is a truly riveting and intriguing find. The plot is unique and engaging, the mystery kept me interested right to the end, and the characters came alive as I read. This fantasy is like a breath of fresh air, and I enjoyed visualizing the world Bastedo has created with this series. Flintelf is such an excellent and eccentric fantasy! I am looking forward to the next one,