Galloway’s debut fantasy novella unveils a secret world replete with goblins, a fairy princess, an evil witch, and a magical wizard.
Eric is a human who’s long been fascinated by the myths of fairies, and he eventually goes to England to investigate the legends. After interviewing some locals, he sets up a fairy feast in the Forbidden Forest. The fairies join him for drunken cavorting and then bring him back to their land. His arrival triggers a long-dormant prophecy about the downfall of the wicked witch queen. Angelica, a fairy princess who was bred and raised by unicorns, has been training as a warrior, waiting for the right time to lead her people to reclaim their land from the queen. The people believe that Eric is a legendary wizard who’s key to the witch’s destruction, so Angelica and her team later rescue him from a deadly trap. They train him, and soon Eric and Angelica are working out plans to take down the queen. With ingenuity, supreme sacrifice, and teamwork, they kill the queen’s most powerful ally, the Collector. With him gone, they can breach the castle and reclaim the land for the people. The character of Angelica is a brave warrior princess who will provide a great role model for young girls; she isn’t afraid to fight or sacrifice for the greater good when necessary. Eric’s sense of adventure, even when facing his own death, is uplifting, and his resilience after losing his ties to the human world will remind readers that life can be wonderful if one lets go of preconceived notions about what’s truly important. The way the entire community works together, even to the extent of sacrificing their own lives, makes a powerful statement about solidarity and what it takes to defeat oppression. The fantasy world is rich and lush, showcasing Galloway’s fantastic imagination, and the pacing moves quickly forward. There are times when the prose is clichéd or awkward (“Needless to say, the spontaneous celebrations started popping up all over the place”), but the story is well-paced enough to transcend these moments.
A quick fantasy read with a solid moral underpinning.