Tuesday, January 03, 2012

Faerie Heart - A Darkly Enchanting Read

I've been doing a bit of research into children's books, updating my frames of reference since my youngest is definitely now Young Adult. Faerie Heartwas mentioned by a literary Twitterer, so looking to compare children's book writing styles and age appropriate content etc, I requested it from the library. Given that it is a Puffin book recommended for age 9+, I was surprised that the Librarian looked for it in the teen section. It certainly has no overtly 'teen' content or themes that would need such a classification, so heaven knows why they had it shelved there!

However the Twitterer's recommendation was not misplaced, this is an enchanting book which successfully creates a realistic neolithic world where a small tribal group scratches out a precarious living as early agriculturalists, and in which the vagaries and dangers of their world appear to be controlled by capricious supernatural forces.

Livi Michael combines all the best aspects of traditional fairy tales; a great plot, well drawn characters (both human and mythical), and a believable cultural heritage for Keri and her family. But this is no sanitised Disnification; the dark storytelling owes much to the brothers Grimm.

All in all Faerie Heartis a very good read for a child at the top end of Primary School, spoiled only by the brief but unnecessary glib ending, that could well have been omitted.


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