Faeries of Dreamdark #1. Author: Laini Taylor.
When the ancient evil of the Blackbringer rises to unmake the world, only one determined faerie stands in its way. However, Magpie Windwitch, granddaughter of the West Wind, is not like other faeries. While her kind live in seclusion deep in the forests of Dreamdark, she’s devoted her life to tracking down and recapturing devils escaped from their ancient bottles, just as her hero, the legendary Bellatrix, did 25,000 years ago. With her faithful gang of crows, she travels the world fighting where others would choose to flee. But when a devil escapes from a bottle sealed by the ancient Djinn King himself, the creator of the world, she may be in over her head. How can a single faerie, even with the help of her friends, hope to defeat the impenetrable darkness of the Blackbringer?
I was afraid from the cover that this would be a YA version of the Pixie Hollow stories, but was pleasantly surprised. They are still the tiny, pixie-ish version of faeries, not my personal favorite. And I don’t think the writing here was quite as lovely as Laini Taylor’s more recent stuff, but it is a fun fantasy read. Nightmares come to life, slumbering djinn, crow-clans and faeries – find them all in the same, coherent world. I really liked Magpie, but I still wasn’t happy when she moved into the Powerful Chosen One trope. Explaining further is Spoiler Zone, but yes, here we have another Born To The Task hero who’s Just Now Discovering Mighty Powers, when it seems like the story could have been just as good if she really was just the plucky adventurer she seems at the beginning, with a few slightly different plot-threads.
Sexual Content: None.
Violence: Character finds empty shoes and opened bottle – figures whatever demon came out devoured the men. Character touches memory of fire djinn dying, its own wind-spirit forced to snuff it out and die in the doing. Fae hunters killed/eaten, no real description (one is caught by a whip-tongue, the others simply dive into the darkness to fight and never come back). Hand-to-hand brief fight with demon, ending with its death. Tales of the dragons slaughtered by humans. Possibility of body horror: one demon is described without a mouth, but teeth on the inside that gnaw their way out to feed.