If you are looking for a dark faerie young adult novel, then be sure to pick-up Janni Lee Simner’s Bones of Faerie trilogy. Simner creates such an original world and story that I found it to be an incredibly refreshing read.
Bones of Faerie is the first book in the series. Liza has grown up in a very bleak world. After the war with the faeries, life as they once knew it no longer exists. There are no cars or computers, in fact there are very limited resources. Liza also knows that when people are touched with magic they must be “dealt” with. The evil of magic must not be allowed into the village regardless of how brutal the actions to the inflicted are. The problem is, Liza thinks she may have been infected with magic. She decides she much embark on a quest to better understand her heritage and her mother.
This is an excellent, albeit dark, faerie dystopian tale. Simner did such an amazing job of describing the fear of living in her world. The mythology of the magic is unlike anything that I have read lately. It was not just the people that were effect by the faeries but everything: trees, water and creatures have all come to life with magical gifts. I loved this but found myself anxious right along with Liza during her perilous journey. You never knew what was lurking around the next turn. Not only are the descriptions fabulous, but so are the characters. Liza may be sheltered but she is already starting to grown into a strong and independent heroine. And I also loved her healer Allie with her constant optimism. She is a the perfect balance to Liza’s often pessimistic logic.
We still have autographed copies of Faerie After, book three in the series, in-stock. Janni Lee Simner has told us she is happy to sign books for any of her fans and will stop in the store to sign books. Please let us know if you are interested in a personalized autograph copy.— Jody
Spring '09 Kids List
“This story of a girl who sets out to learn the truth about her past and to try to change her future will inspire readers to wish for peace. Its devastating first chapter sets you on a breathless journey that doesn't let you go until the very last page.”
— Melissa Posten, Children's Book World, Haverford, PA
The war between humanity and Faerie devastated both sides. Or so 15-year-old Liza has been told. Nothing has been seen or heard from Faerie since, and Liza’s world bears the scars of its encounter with magic. Trees move with sinister intention, and the town Liza calls home is surrounded by a forest that threatens to harm all those who wander into it. Then Liza discovers she has the Faerie ability to see—into the past, into the future—and she has no choice but to flee her town. Liza’s quest will take her into Faerie and back again, and what she finds along the way may be the key to healing both worlds.
Janni Lee Simner’s first novel for young adults is a dark fairy-tale twist on apocalyptic fiction—as familiar as a nightmare, yet altogether unique.
About the Author
Janni Lee Simner lives in the Arizona desert, where, even without magic, the plants know how to bite and the dandelions really do have thorns. She has published four books for younger readers, as well as more than 30 short stories. Bones of Faerie is her first young adult novel.
To learn more about Janni, visit her Web site at www.simner.com.
“This book has one of the best first chapters I know—and the rest of the book more than lives up to its promise. Pure, stunning, it is impossible to put down or forget.”—Jane Yolen, winner of the World Fantasy Award
Simner’s first novel for YAs is an attention-catching twist of two piping-hot speculative scenarios—a postapocalyptic-wasteland journey layered upon a faerie-world-intruding-upon-our-own setup. The mood is strikingly dark, and questions regarding humankind’s tendency toward suspicion and xenophobia will loom large in readers’ minds. This will garner a share of fans for its unusual and unsettling vision of a magically dystopian future.
Simner creates a fresh, compelling novel in a highly saturated fantasy market. The beginning resonates with tension and pulls the reader into a finely written, multilayered story.
From School Library Journal:
Postapocalyptic fiction and faeries seem an unlikely combination. However, Simner weaves these strands together to produce a thought-provoking and thrilling story about a girl at war with herself and her own magical abilities. In her world, the cities are dead, and the towns and villages have reverted to a preindustrial farming economy. Society has been devastated by a war between humans and faeries. The natural world has turned against people and exhibits a malign intelligence that it uses to ensnare unwary humans. As the story opens, Liza, 15, tells of how her baby sister, who showed the clear hair strands of those with faerie powers, is left on a hillside by her father and killed by wild animals. After her death, Liza's mother leaves the family. When Liza realizes that she is able to see into the past and the future, she runs away to avoid hurting anyone else with her powers. She is joined by her neighbor Matthew, who turns out to have magical abilities of his own. Together they undertake a perilous journey as they search for Liza's mother, and, in the process, gain a greater understanding of the war and the possibility of a new beginning. Simner perfectly captures the sense of danger with her stark prose and ratchets up the tension as readers slowly begin to unravel the terrible truth of what happened to the land of Faerie during the war. The characters are well drawn, and the resolution is deftly handled, being both satisfying and firmly grounded in Liza's emotional reality. Fans of Lois Lowry's trilogy, which includes The Giver, will thoroughly enjoy this novel.
From Kirkus Reviews:
Simner keeps things interesting with a fair amount of action and the constant introduction of new characters. The postapocalyptic environment is haunting but not downright scary-the most frightening things are the people, not the magic. With its dark, sharply imagined world, this will appeal to readers of Holly Black and Cassandra Clare.