Faery Rebels: Spell Hunter by R.J. Anderson
Finished: May 14, 2009
First Published: April 28, 2009
Genre: children, YA, fantasy
"I only want to go out for a little, little while," the faery child pleaded.
Reason for Reading: I have a fondness for faeries in fantasy as long as they are not cutesy and when I saw the title of this book that combined the words "rebels" and "hunter" with "faery" I was very intrigued. Also the picture of the very pretty yet so serious faery on the cover also helped to pique my interest. I received a review copy from Harper Collins Canada.
Comments: In the Oakenwyld lives a faery realm which is slowly dying out. They lost their magic hundreds of years ago and no one remembers exactly how. A sickness is slowly killing them all off one by one. They do not reproduce but only replace themselves with a baby upon death. These faeries are selfish, friendless and joyless. They also have no culture, no art, no seekers of knowledge and as far as they are concerned it has never been any different. But Knife does not accept this. Why are the faeries so terrified of humans? When she accidentally meets one and nothing bad happens she, who has always been somewhat of a rulebreaker, decides to find out the truth about humans and faeries and perhaps save the Oakenwyld faeries from extinction.
Honestly, I'm amazed at how much I enjoyed this book. I have to admit I was expecting a more juvenile book than what this actually proved to be. Not that I don't enjoy a good juvenile book by any means. Perhaps it was the cover or the publisher's age range of ten plus but I was pleasantly surprised to find a very in depth, layered story that will be enjoyed by those aged ten on up through young adults. The two major characters, Knife and Paul, are sixteen years old and there is a romantic element that is pure and self-sacrificing. The faery character, Knife, is a very headstrong and a forceful, determined female to be admired and yet very feminine when her heart strings are pulled both in friendship and love. The faery world is very intriguing and the mythos created very full and believable yet with plenty of room for expansion should a sequel be in the works.
I couldn't put this one down and read it within a 24 hour period. The book has a complete satisfying ending for the central main characters, yet for the world in which they live there are threads left hanging which makes me wonder if a sequel is in the works which may be set in the same world but focus on different protagonists. That would certainly make for an interesting series. Anyway only time will tell! This is the author's first novel, though she has written picture books previously, and I'll be waiting to see what she has for us next. Recommended!
ETA: My oops, the author has not previously written picture books. This is her first ever published book!