Tuesday, March 11, 2008

A faery in exile

Anita is enjoying life - she has the lead in the school play, she's falling in love with someone special, she has friends and family who care about her, and she's just about to turn sixteen. Evan, her amazing boyfriend, is taking her out on a special boat ride on the Thames for her birthday - but then there is a terrible accident on the river, and they both end up in the hospital. From then on things become very strange, and Anita's life turns in a terrifyingly unexpected direction.

At first she suspects she is having some sort of hallucination brought on by the accident. She is transported to a different word - the land of faerie, where she is told she is the lost princess of King Oberon and Queen Titania. She disappeared into the mortal realms 500 years earlier, but handsome Gabriel Drake, a faery nobleman, has rescued her. The realm, dark and neglected after centuries of neglect by the king, who has been in mourning since her disappearance, begins to return to life with her return.

Anita is confused and overwhelmed, but continues to believe she is dreaming it all, even though memories of her previous life are beginning to surface in her mind. An only child, she is a bit unsettled by the appearance of so many sisters, who treat her with surprising familiarity. And Evan - he is really Edric, servant to Gabriel Drake, and she is furious that he duped her into falling in love with him in order to get her to return to the land of Faerie. And even as she begins to believe she truly is a faerie princess, she is torn. How can she leave her parents in the mortal realms behind without a world of explanation? Is it truly her destiny to walk between the worlds? But what if she doesn't want that destiny?

This is another pick for my library's upcoming summer reading program. It was...enjoyable, but predictable. The characters were a bit flat to me - the sisters were mostly interchangeable, and Anita herself was slightly annoying in that she spent so much of the book trying to convince herself she was dreaming, no matter what anyone did or said. Once that was over with, though, and she started to try to take control of her life, the pacing picked up nicely. I also found some of the motivations of the characters to be a bit sketchy. King Oberon has been in mourning for 500 years for his missing daughter, yet he barely spends more than five minutes with her when she returns. Then he conveniently (for the plot) takes off on an extended journey around the kingdom to set things to rights.

I've heard that subsequent books in the series are better, so I may check them out at some point. I do think the series would be very appealing to teen fantasy fans, although I preferred Holly Black's modern faery tales to this one.Books in the Faerie Path series:
  1. The Faerie Path
  2. The Lost Queen
  3. The Sorcerer King
The Faerie Path by Frewin Jones (HarperCollins, 2007)

Other blog reviews:
Anilee's Reviews
The Compulsive Reader
Em's Bookshelf
YA Bookmark

6 comments:

  1. Please read more in the series so I can decide if I want to get them or not!!! I really like the sound of the story and it is a shame it fell a little flat for you. If you haven't done so already I suggest you watch Pan's Labyrinth but be warned some of it is pretty violent. It does tell a similar tale though.

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  2. Rhinoa - you want me to be your guinea pig, do you? :-) I think I can handle it. I'll let you know how it goes!

    I did watch Pan's Labyrinth a few months ago - what a powerful film! This book is a totally palid rendition of the story if you compare the two. But it was still sweet and, I think, appealing to its intended audience.

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  3. Oh wow! Very cool but like you said, I can see how it could be predictable. Try Wicked Lovely by Melissa Marr.

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  4. Ladytink - Oh, I loved Wicked Lovely, too!

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  5. your shelfari bookshelf and mine are so different, LOL.

    ps - love the hamcock photo!

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  6. It is funny, isn't it? Oh, and I meant to tell you, those Vampire Diaries books you love (JP Smith, I think the author is) have been re-released with a very slick nice new cover in a single large paperback volume. I'll add them to the YA horror list when I update it on the library's website!

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