by Sarah Prineas, published 2012, 2013
“The Way was real, and the puck-boy had come through it, and maybe the lovely woman from her dream had come through, and her own father had gone through it, gone away forever.”
I don’t usually review two children’s books together, but each book in this pair feel like they belong together. They concern the realms on the other side of the “Way,” and a young girl whose mother was of the folk, and whose father was human. While there are lots of other children’s books built around the same premise of the opening between the two worlds, these two offer yet another view.
In both of these two children’s books, we see how the human world has something to offer the fairy world that it didn’t have before. More than something- many things. The healing herbs are a power that works well in the fairy world. The ideals of loyalty and friendship are the most important contribution, and they provide the culmination of the second of the two books.
Sometimes I might read a children’s book that is second in a series, and it’s fine to skip the first. In this case, I think the first is important, but to be honest, the second is much more to my liking. In the first book, all is a bit darker, as Fer, the heroine, has to over come an evil woman bringing death to the fairy land. In the second book, the heroine overcomes the bad guy by the use of her own goodness. It’s much more triumphant and satisfying to read them both.
The fairy worlds are filled with all kinds of interesting characters, and none of the ‘bad’ is horrifically bad. For example, the worst thing that happens in the first book is a stag hunt, but goodness, that happens in our world on a daily basis!
Memorable characters, good writing, and an exciting plot make both of these children’s books worth spending time with. If possible, I recommend the hard copy version. I found the smaller print in the paperback unpleasant for such a grand story.