Fun kids’ fantasy will appeal to adults, too

         Over the weekend I took a nice little trip, courtesy of Laini Taylor.  A longtime fan of Tolkien, C.S. Lewis, Rowling and others, the cover of the book Blackbringer: Faeries of Dreamdark caught my attention when I saw it on the shelf at the Carnegie Library.  When I finally got it back from its long disappearance in my son’s room, I thought I had better try it before its due date. What a pleasant surprise!  This book does as good a job as any of the aforementioned authors’ works in creating a new world, complete with fun vocabulary, delightful rhymes, intriguing history and likeable, believable characters. I could even say that at four hundred pages it was a bit too short!  There were events and backstories I wanted to savor, to extend, to revisit. 

         The life of Magpie Windwitch has been one of good friends (the Crows she travels and performs plays with), wild adventure (devil hunting across the wild world), and unusual education far outside the experiences of most faeries of her young age. But Magpie is an unusual faerie—daughter of traveling anthropologists, granddaughter of the West Wind, blessed by the animals at her birth, even Magpie herself doesn’t know what all she is gifted to do.  That is, she doesn’t until she runs into a new, unknown devil of unimaginable power and horror.  Suddenly, the entire world is at risk and ‘Pie isn’t quite sure what is happening.  An exciting, thrilling read with lots of laughs mixed in with the nightmares and monsters.