by Laini Taylor
Fairies, and Imps, and Devils– oh my! Not my usual choice for reading material, but wow! This is a great fantasy read. It was an unsolicited donation from the publisher along with an advanced reader’s copy of the sequel, Silksinger (which I can’t wait to read). Both are part of the “Dreamdark” series.
This one is tough to put down. It’s got Magpie Windwitch, a spunky, half-wild, adolescent fairy (she is only 100 years old) as the protagonist. Thousands of years have passed since the Djinn and the fairies won the devil wars, locking the “snags” in magically sealed bottles and tossing them into the ocean. Since then, the Djinn have withdrawn from the world they created and faeries have grown complacent and have been letting magic slip away bit by bit. Now new creatures, humans or “mannies”, have arisen and are accidentally releasing the captured devils. Magpie and her band of crows travel the world hunting down the newly freed demons. But the latest devil to escape represents a different type of evil and it may mean the end of the world. Can she stop the Blackbringer before it destroys everyone and everything?
Magpie is a great protagonist. She is coarse, tough, brave, and determined. She is surrounded by an engaging—and sometimes terrifying—mix of characters. The crows, the imps, the devils, and the other faeries all help bring the story to life. There is plenty of action to keep kids reading and just enough of the dark side to lure the vampire-addicts into a different genre. This is excellent fantasy—even for non-fantasy readers.
Highly recommended for grades 7-12.
by Mr. Doyle