STRAY by Elissa Sussman


Age Range: 12 - 18
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Fairy-tale tropes are turned on their heads in this exploration of class and ideology.

Aislynn is a princess who has always intended to follow the Path. However, her wicked heart is often at odds with her desperation to obey the rules that state she must resist the curse of her innate magic. Despite her practice of self-mutilation to release excess magic, in a moment of heightened emotion, Aislynn uses magic and is Redirected. Now, instead of marrying, Aislynn is assigned to be fairy godmother to another princess. Purged of feeling, Aislynn’s relief in her freedom from her overpowering emotions is sympathetic, as is her horror when those emotions eventually resurface. In her new life, she makes new friends who challenge her assumptions about the very foundations her life is built upon, forcing Aislynn to choose between what she’s been taught and the truth. While Aislynn’s blind obedience to the Path is understandable, her often willful ignorance of the obvious may bewilder readers. The creative use of the role of fairy godmother is fascinating, as is the fantasy world, but the disjointed and abrupt ending may perplex those who expected resolution.

Readers who remain intrigued by Aislynn’s world will have to wait for the next book. (Fantasy. 12-18)

Pub Date: Oct. 7th, 2014
ISBN: 978-0-06-227455-7
Page count: 384pp
Publisher: Greenwillow
Review Posted Online:
Kirkus Reviews Issue: Aug. 15th, 2014


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