Wednesday, December 21, 2011

Bones of Faerie


Bones of Faerie is a YA fantasy/dystopia novel by Janni Lee Simner.

It's been many years since the War - when faeries crossed over to our world and began attacking with their powerful magic, turning even the plants violent. The modern world fell, or so they've told fifteen-year-old Liza, and many died because of magic and those who brought it here. It's been many years since the faerie folk left, but the results remain.

New rules apply now. Everybody knows not go out alone in the dark. Everybody knows not to touch a stone that glows with faerie light. Everybody knows to cast out those who are born with magic, before it can eradicate the town.

That's how Liza's baby sister died. She was born with the glass-clear hair of a faerie, so Liza's father immediately took the baby outside and left it. Liza's mind can't forget the image of her sister's bloody bones in the moonlight.

And then the next day, Liza's mother disappeared. Nobody expects her to live, wandering around alone in such dangerous lands - so her father gives her up for dead. Now it's just the two of them.

But the brutality of her father haunts her... and after witnessing an event that turns everything she knows to be true upside down, Liza escapes the town to find answers - and her mother.

I had very high expectations for Bones of Faeries - the excerpt was chilling and the reviews are excellent. And the opening did not disappoint! It was disturbing, sad, startling, and well-done - capturing my attention and keeping it.

Disquieting fear has taken hold of people after the faeries brought magic to our world - but the origins of the War and everything that happened was not witnessed by Liza, or us. So, we stand by Liza's side as we wonder if the story told is true, or shaped by the horrifyingly irrational, all-too-believable panic left behind.

Janni Lee Simner has created a dangerous world - in more ways than one. The journey she sets us on with Liza, who becomes an outcast, and the mysterious Matthew is one written simply and openly. I constantly wanted more details than I was getting, and Simner fed that hunger.

Bones of Faerie is a compelling novel mixing a dystopia with the fantasy of faeries. It met emotional peaks and plot depths that were quite good, but I thought might be even more powerful. It could be because my expectations were so high that I didn't think it was as fantastic as it could have been... I guess we'll see once I read Faerie Winter, the sequel.

Yet there is no question that Bones of Faerie is an excellent story with a likable heroine. Of that there is absolutely no question. I would put Bones of Faerie in the same category as Lois Lowry's The Gift, Gathering Blue, and The Messenger - magical realism with undercurrents of humanity becoming the biggest threat of all... Definitely worth the read!

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