Tuesday, August 08, 2006

Faerie Wars; H. Brennan

Faerie Wars, written by Herbie Brennan & published by Bloomsbury in 2003, is a young adult alternate reality fantasy. Boy that's a mouthful. Protagonists: Henry Atherton, fourteen year old teenage boy living in the UK; Pyrgus Malvae, fourteen year old Heir to the throne of Light in the Fairy Kingdom & Holly Blue, Pyrgus' sister & third in line to the throne. Also assorted good & bad fairies, a demon or two & a few humans.

Pyrgus & his dad the Emperor don't get along well, so Pyrgus moves out into the city to "live as a commoner" as Holly puts it. Fortunately for Pyrgus, his dad keeps tabs on him as Pyrgus is prone to causing trouble. Henry works for an old man named Alan Fogarty doing odd jobs around Fogarty's property. Through a convoluted series of events involving kitten based glue, demon summoning & political problems Pyrgus ends up as a miniature fairy in Fogarty's yard, where Henry finds him.

Problem- Pyrgus wasn't supposed to end up there. His family doesn't know where he is. Old man Fogarty is deeper than he appears & manages to construct a combination Tesla coil/Hieronymous machine to send Pyrgus back home. Pyrgus manages to get himself lost again. Henry & Holly, each from their respective worlds, set out to rescue/find/return Pyrgus.

There are plenty of red herrings to go around, although at one point I rolled my eyes & said to myself, "I should've seen that one coming." The beauty of it all? I didn't see it coming at all. There is a subplot happening with Henry's family, which I find fascinating. There are nods to famous authors. The fairies' names are those of butterflies; a pun on the fact that they are butterfly size in our world but 'regular' size in their own.

An engrossing, quick read- highly recommended. The sequel, The Purple Emperor is out in paperback this month.

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