Bones of Faerie

By Janni Lee Simner

Place: Publisher & Year: New York: Random House, 2009

Genres: Fantasy, dark fantasy, faerie tale, dystopian

Series: A sequel – Faerie Winter – is due to be published in April, 2011

ISBN: 9780375845635

Audience: Young adult

Number of pages: 247

Setting: St. Louis, Missouri area

Time period: About twenty years in the future

Plot summary: Many years after the war between humans and Faerie has ended, humans are still wary of any kind of magic.  Everyone knows that magic is evil – at least that’s what fifteen year old Liza has been taught.  This is why when Liza’s sister was born with Faerie clear hair, she was left on a hillside to die; shortly after this, Liza’s mother disappeared.  When Liza starts having magical visions she must leave her village immediately, or risk putting herself at great harm.  Unfortunately, there is no place safe for Liza to go, for magic lurks everywhere.

Appeal factors:

Pacing: Maintains a steady, brisk pace throughout the story.

Characterization: The story is told in first person through Liza.  Important secondary characters include Liza’s family members, Matthew – a boy from Liza’s village, Allie – a young healer from Washville, and Karin and Caleb – Faerie siblings who live peaceably in a human village.

Frame: Liza’s description of her sister’s death in the first two pages of the story establishes a bleak and horrifying frame in a post apocalyptic world.

Story line: A story about finding courage – not only to stand up for one’s beliefs – but also to confront one’s deepest convictions, learn how to trust others, and admit to mistakes.

Subject headings:

From Pima county Public Library:

Magic — Juvenile fiction.

Coming of age — Juvenile fiction.

Fairies — Juvenile fiction.

Similar authors:

Holly Black, Cassandra Clare, and Melissa Marr

Personal notes: I enjoyed this story, even though I started out a bit skeptical of it.  It seems a bit over the top – a post apocalyptic world after a war between humans and Faerie.  A world where magic has gone feral and is something to fear.  Many things are not explained in the story – how and why did the war start?  (Maybe this will be answered in the sequel).  Some parts of the story are fairly predictable, but the main characters are believable.

Other – diversity, websites: Diversity –abuse victim, Faeries, magical people

Janni Lee Simner’s website (which includes a link to Coyote Wild Magazine where one can read a short story – “Invasive Species” which is set in the same post war conditions.  This story is set just outside of Tucson).

Local author

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