Wednesday, August 18, 2010

Wayfarer

Title: Wayfarer

Series: Faery Rebels #2

Author: R. J. Anderson

Genre: Tween (10-14) Magical Realism

Excerpt from “Prologue” of Wayfarer:

The Queen is dying.

The knowledge sat in Linden’s belly like a cold stone as she hunched over the tub of greasy water, scrubbing her thirty-ninth plate. She’d promised Mallow, the Chief Cook, that she’d wash all the Oakenfolk’s dishes in exchange for a second piece of honey cake at dinner, and at the time it had seemed a reasonable bargain. But now that she knew what was happening at the top of the Spiral Stair—that the faery Queen was lying pale and weak upon her bed and might never rise from it again—she wanted to heave up all the cake she’d eaten and throw the last few dishes straight back in the Chief Cook’s face.

How could Mallow look smug, after bringing them such terrible news? The moment she’d spoken those words the whole kitchen had gone silent, Gatherers and cooks and scullions all staring in horrified disbelief. Yet the corners of Mallow’s fat mouth were curled up in obvious self-satisfaction, as though the important thing wasn’t Queen Amaryllis’s fate, only that she’d been the first of them to find out about it.

Still, Linden didn’t dare to question Mallow, or beg her for more details—unless, of course, she was prepared to bargain for the information.

A fifteen-year-old faery sets out with a son of missionaries to find more faeries and magic before her people die.

The Craft: Wayfarer is the kind of story, that when you finish it, you close the cover with a big, happy sigh, even as you wish for more.

The characters tickle your funny bone as they pull on your heartstrings. The world intertwines real life with a thread of the magical that makes you look around at reality with a touch of breathless wonder and anticipation. The plot surges forward, pulling you to stunning heights, only to drop you into the deepest valleys, all with the corkscrew of incredible tension.

In short, Ms. Anderson knows how to tell a really good story.

The Content: The threads, both thematic and spiritual, only hinted at in Spell Hunter, now starts to surface in Wayfarer. While not in your face, all these floats that jump across the web of the story’s fabric slowly combine into an intricate but unmistakable pattern: accountability to a higher authority, using one’s gifts properly, facing questions and doubts about God head-on, honesty, taking a stand for what’s right even against incredible odds.

As for the other matters, magic is an intricate part of the story, but it is wielded only by faeries, treated as a supernatural gift from the “Good Gardener” to this non-human race, much in the was creativity was gifted to humans. There is some minor violence as well, but mostly in the form of hand-to-hand combat that mainly results in a few cuts and bruises.

Summary: Wayfarer is a delightful tale that captures the imagination, tickles the funny bone, and fills the world with wonder. Highly recommended for readers both young and old.

Rating: Craft—5, Content—5, Overall—4.7 out of 5 stars

Intrigued? Don't miss book one, Faery Rebels: Spell Hunters.

2 comments:

Brandon said...

My wife really loved the first book, I'll have to get her the sequel now!

Chawna Schroeder said...

I hope she enjoys it as much as I did!