Monday, March 22, 2010

CSFF Blog Tour - Day 1

Faery Rebels: Spell Hunter
Tinkerbell for the 21st Century

(click image for Amazon link or click link below)

*Faery Rebels: Spell Hunter -
Author Web site -
Author blog -
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In conjunction with the CSFF Blog Tour, I received a free copy of this book
from the nice people at HarperCollins Publishing.

When I first heard the title, Faery Rebels, I half-expected something along the lines of Artemis Foul meets Lord of the Rings. It sounded fun, but maybe a bit predictable. Happily, I was way off base. Faery Rebels recounts the tale of a young faery named Bryony that lives in an ancient oak tree located at the forest edge. The faery community has survived for centuries within the same tree. Over time, the population has dwindled due to fewer and fewer births, and a growing number of faeries succumbing to the Silence, a degenerate disease that is always fatal. Bryony is the only young faery in the midst of older faeries who all live in the tree

Inside the great oak, everyone has a job, from the lowest cook to Queen Amaryllis, who protects them all with her more powerful magic. I'll touch a little more on the magic aspect in tomorrow's blog.

You may wonder, like I did, how Bryony becomes the faery, Knife. Within the great tree the Oakenfolk, as they call themselves, are each given a job based on a vision by the Queen. The appointments allow everyone to use their gifts and talents in the most beneficial way for the community. Over time, the Oakenfolk have become petty and selfish. They never offer to freely help one another, only exchange goods for services or favors. This barter system struck me as a sad commentary on our own society. Few help others out of the goodness of their hearts any more. Even volunteers may be helping with the idea of a future benefit. When Byrony freely receives help, she is unsure why the other person would help. She keeps expecting an angle in play by the giver; no one gives something of value away without a reason.

As a very young faery, Bryony catches a glimpse of the world outside their home. Her greatest wish is to become a Gatherer; one of the select faery groups allowed into the dangerous world outside the tree. While the outer world is fresh and green and beautiful, Gatherers must stay on a constant lookout for dangerous animals like foxes, or worse, crows, while gathering food for the faery community. Byrony is granted a job, but not what she expected, or had even dreamed of receiving.

R. J. Anderson does a great job with setting and characterization in Faery Rebel, and without giving away the story, I thought the ending created a strong start for a new story. On her website, I found that Faery Rebel is the first book in a new faery series. The next book in the series is available in the United Kingdom as Rebel, and as Wayfarer in the United States. Wayfarer is available for Amazon pre-order with a June 22ND release date. What's the future of the faery series books? On her web site, Mrs. Anderson mentions Arrow and Swift as two books due for a U.S. release in 2011 and 2012.
Amazon lists Faery Rebels as appropriate for ages 9-12. Readers who enjoy a good fantasy tale with an strong, upbeat ending may also find the book enjoyable. I finished reading Faery Rebels and left feeling pleasantly surprised by how quickly time passed while immersed in the story.

Tomorrow - Faery Magic, One Size Does Not Fit All In the Gardener's Eyes.


Rebecca LuElla Miller said...

Love the tomorrow teaser, Tim. Very nice summary of the story without giving spoilers.


Fred Warren said...

Great post, looking forward to your comments tomorrow. I found the title a little misleading too--I think the publisher would have done just fine keeping the original titles for the U.S. release.


Anonymous said...

I thought the ending was pretty great. It did set us up for the next book, but it was also completely satisfying on its own.

KM Wilsher said...

Can't wait to see what you have for us tomorrow. Great review :)

R.J. Anderson said...

Thanks for your lovely review and other thoughtful comments -- really enjoyed the careful analysis and the insights you brought to the story! Much appreciated.