An Irish Canadian authors lauded fairy fantasies are updated and introduced to U.S. fantasy readers for the first time in O.R. Mellings Chronicles of Faerie. The first volume, The Hunters Moon, follows two cousins, Gwen and Findabhair, as they backpack around Ireland in search of the countrys magical past. But the girls go too far when they dare to spend the night in a known fairy mound. Finn is stolen away by the dark king of Faerie to become his bride sacrifice to the Great Worm, or Hunter. It is up to timid Gwen to rescue her intrepid cousin, and she wonders if the task will be too much the first time she catches a glimpse of the Little People at play. "Gwen quaked inside. This wild abandon was beyond anything she could imagine Exquisite chaos." But with the help of a fairy doctress and her handsome grandson, Gwen assembles a rag tag team of heroes determined to bring Finn back -- even if it means the destruction of Faerie itself.
Mellings scholarship is evident. In fact, some readers may wonder why she just didnt write a nonfiction book about Irelands rich folklore, as her characters often step clumsily out of the narrative to spout a factual, yet hyperbolic speech about a particular cave, lake or legendary creature. But while Mellings writing is less successful when her characters are on this side of the Veil, her descriptions of Fairie are sweeping and romantic. Fans of writers like Midori Snyder or Clare Dunkle are sure to enjoy them. (Ages 10-15) --Jennifer Hubert --This text refers to an alternate Paperback edition.
Starred Review. Grade 8 Up–Idealistic Findabhair and her cautious cousin Gwen have always shared a love of fantasy and hunted for a door into other worlds. The teens plan to spend their summer hitchhiking through Ireland, but when Findabhair is abducted from a barrow by the King of the Faeries himself, Gwen has to become self-reliant and overcome her fears in order to rescue her cousin. When she finds a gateway into the Faeries' world, she is unprepared for the beauty of their land, and for her cousin's decision to stay. Complicating the matter is Gwen's memory of the words from a dream: "I, too, was the Hunted and the Sacrificed." Fearing for her cousin's life, Gwen must take help in whatever form it comes to see Findabhair safely delivered from the Faerie lands. Originally published in Ireland (1992) and Canada (1993) to much acclaim, this novel is a compelling blend of Irish mythology and geography. Characters that breathe and connect with readers, and a picturesque landscape that shifts between the present and the past, bring readers into the experience. Melling's taut plotting, with its unexpected turns, moves the story quickly to a climax and leaves readers wanting more. Fortunately, this is the first book in a trilogy.–Melissa Moore, Union University Library, Jackson, TN
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