Friday, October 2, 2009

Bones of Faerie

Fifteen-year-old Liza lives in a world that has been devastated by war, a war between humans and Faerie that nearly destroyed both worlds. When her mother gives birth to a baby that bears all the signs of faerie magic, her father does the expected thing and abandons the infant outside to die - or be taken by the faeries. Liza sneaks out of the house, hoping to save her baby sister, only to find that wild animals got there before she did. Her mother disappears shortly afterward, leaving Liza alone with her harsh, abusive father and a growing sense that she is tainted with faery power herself.

Liza does the unthinkable and runs out into the night, leaving the safety of her village behind, even though "Don't venture out after dark" has been drummed into her head ever since she could talk. It is good advice, in this post-apocalyptic world in which faery magic has spilled into unexpected places, giving plants a sentience and ferocity that make venturing into the woods a harrowing experience. Luckily Liza finds herself with a traveling companion - even though she is angry at her friend Matthew for endangering himself by leaving the village to help her. Although it seems that Matthew is hiding some secrets of his own...

I very much enjoyed this fascinating dark, post-apocalyptic fantasy. Liza's world is a dark and dangerous place, but the more she learns as she ventures into the unknown in search of her mother, the more she realizes that her own "safe" village is a very dark place as well. I found the descriptions of the pernicious flora to be very effective in creating a sense of otherworldly horror. This book certainly stands alone, plot-wise, but there will be a sequel, according to the author's website, due to be published in 2011. I am glad to hear that, because the book left me with a sense of so much left to be explored, even though Liza's story comes to a satisfying conclusion.

Click here to read a short story set in the same world as Bones of Faerie called "Invasive Species."

Bones of Faerie by Janni Lee Simner (Random House, 2009)

Also reviewed at:
Becky's Book Reviews: "Loved this one. I mean I knew it would be good when Elizabeth Scott said it was. But still. Oh-so-good."
Fantasy Book Critic: "In the end, Janni Lee Simner's first attempt at a teen novel was a success. Despite the quick pace and the lack of details regarding magic and the war, Bones of Faerie was an engaging read."
Karin's Book Nook: "As a reader, it is easy to get attached to the characters. Liza’s visions are marked by italics for easy identification throughout the story and the language is clean which makes this appropriate for even young fantasy fans."
A Patchwork of Books: "Faeries are popping up in books all over and unfortunately, with this particular one, I was left pretty disappointed. I felt Liza was a really flat character, she was whiny at times when she didn't need to be and I had so many questions throughout the entire book that I felt went unanswered."


  1. I loved this one too! Thanks for the update on a sequel. I never even thought of this one in terms of a sequel. I'll definitly be there!

  2. Dark, post-apocalyptic fantasy?? Can it sound anymore intriguing? Want to read!!


  3. I really want to read this. I think I am going to see if the library will buy it once I get my checkout pile down a bit!

  4. i loved this one too. it was great. that's awesome she's doing a sequel. :)


  5. When I was a kid I discovered this trilogy of a kid and her ghost horse that I just loved. I recently found out that this author was the one that wrote it!

  6. Excellent review and what a synopsis! Yet another for me to hunt down!

  7. Nicola - I was excited to find out about the sequel when I stopped by her website. :-)

    Sharry - Yes, it's a hard premise to resist, isn't it?!

    Kailana - My checkout pile seems to be enchanted to never grow any smaller no matter how many books I read - what's up with that? Hope your library will get it for you.

    Lauren - I'm glad you enjoyed it, too!

    Ladytink - That is very cool! Sounds like a great trilogy.

    Mariel - I think you will enjoy this one. :-)

  8. Awesome review! You've convinced me that this is a must-read :)
    And it's good to hear about first in a series books that work well as stand-alones too.

  9. Joanne - I like that about a book, too. It's good when you get to the end and feel that the ending is just right - but also that there is more of the world and characters you'd like to explore. I'll be looking forward to hearing your thoughts on this one.


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