the Little Red Reviewer

Posts Tagged ‘fairies

Dust Girl (American Fairy Trilogy, book 1), by Sarah Zettel

published June 2012

Where I got it: purchased new

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In a small town in Kansas, in the dustbowl of the 1930’s, young Callie lives with her mother in the hotel her family owns. As the dust storms intensify, more and more families move out of the town, and Callie’s dust pneumonia gets worse.  Callie’s mother refuses to leave town, insisting that Callie’s father will return to save them. But it’s someone, or rather, some thing, else that comes to town with the next storm, and soon Callie is all by herself. She needs to find her mother, and the father she’s never known.

This is the American Fairy Trilogy, so it’s no spoiler to say that Callie discovers she is half fairy. Her mother had told anyone who would listen that Callie’s father was a traveling salesman. But the truth is that he was a black jazz musician. And even more of that truth was that he is a Fairy Prince. Callie may be royalty in the fae world, but in the plains of the 1930s, she’s now just one more biracial orphan, dependent on keeping her skin as light as possible so as to pass as caucasian for as long as possible.

With her new friend Jack, Callie begins a journey across the country to find her parents, and to find her destiny.  And when she does meet her fairy relatives, will they be happy to see her? That’s the thing with fairies. Their goals are not human goals. Their promises are not human promises.  They have something very different in mind for naive Callie.

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Jack of Ravens  (Kingdom of the Serpent, book 1), by Mark Chadbourn

published in 2012 by Pyr books

where I got it: received advanced readers copy from Pyr

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His memory shattered,  Jack Churchill (who goes by “Church”) wakes up in the middle of a fantasical battle.  Magically glowing sword in hand, he fells a giant, laughs at the nickname “Jack giantkiller”, and is sent by the local sorcerer on a spirit quest. Along with a few other villagers, Church learns he is a Brother of Dragons – a champion for existence. There must always be five Brothers and Sisters of the Dragon for existence to be victorious. Still, he can’t remember how he got there. All Jack remembers is that he is a man of our time, and he needs to get back to Ruth, the woman he loves.   When he is a approached by a few woman who promises him everything his heart desires, how could he say no?

(disclosure: This is my first Mark Chadbourn, but I believe it is linked to some other series/trilogies he has written? Let me know in the comments)

So starts Church’s adventures, whisked to the fey world, where all the creatures of our collective myths exist, and then to different time periods in Earth’s history, all on a mission as a Champion of Existence, all to stop the mysterious Army of Spiders.  His allies include Niamh, a Queen of the Fey courts;  Jerzy, a deformed and tortured jester; Will Swyfte, an infamous spy, and whatever mortals that can be awakened into their destinies of being brothers and sisters of the Dragon.

There is a war on, and it is between hope and despair, between existence and the end of all things.  What hope does Church have, if he can’t seem to ever catch up with the leader of the Army of Spiders, known only as The Libertarian? When you are fighting against despair itself, the enemy can and will be hiding anywhere. In this kind of fight, hope will only get you so far.

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Among Others, by Jo Walton

published in 2011

Where I got it: the library

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Morwenna (who goes by Mori) and her twin sister Morganna can do magic and speak with fairies.  But they have to be careful because their mother is a horrible witch who wants to take over the world. One day, something goes horribly wrong, resulting in Morganna’s death and Morwenna’s leg being shattered.   In a panic, Mori runs away from her mother, ends up in an orphanage, and eventually is sent to live with the father (and his three creepy sisters) she never met. In a new town, in a new school, and dependent on relatives she doesn’t know, Among Others is a diary style memoir of Mori’s life after the death of her twin sister.

It’s not that Mori is an odd child, it’s that she doesn’t care what other people think of her. She doesn’t care if people think that she’s weird, or if people make fun of her limp. It’s nice that she’s so confident and comfortable in her own skin, but it makes it tough for her to make friends at her new school, especially when she goes around looking for fairies to speak to. The fairies in England must be different from the fairies in her native Wales, because she has a tough time talking with them.

Mori escapes into  the books that she loves – science fiction.  Overjoyed to see her favorite authors on her father’s bookshelves, they immediately bond over their shared love for sci fi.  She searches out every bookstore, reads every science fiction novel in the school library and is eventually invited to join the science fiction book club at the town library. Finally, she can speak with people who are passionate about the same things she is, finally she has found a group that won’t think she’s weird! Even better, some of the members of the book group are around her age as well.  If only she could share all this joy with her sister, and if only the fairies would help her destroy her evil witch of a mother.

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some of the books reviewed here were free ARCs supplied by publishers/authors/other groups. Some of the books here I got from the library. the rest I *gasp!* actually paid for. I'll do my best to let you know what's what.