Wynn and her older brother, Elric, finally felt safe when they came through the Silver Gate and were welcomed by the Fairy Queen, who immediately named them prince and princess (The Silver Gate, 2016).
But this world is not really safe. The fairies live under a shield that protects them from the darkness of the Nightfell Wood, which is fully under the control of the evil and power-hungry Grendel. The queen’s own power is weakening as she mourns her son and daughter, who were lost long ago, causing her to become overprotective of Wynn and Elric. When Wynn is tricked into entering Nightfell, Elric is determined to find her, no matter the cost. The third-person narrative alternates chapter by chapter between Elric’s and Wynn’s adventures, which are set in a medieval-esque world with fairies, elves, reapers, and mystical creatures, each with their own magic. While Wynn and Elric do not disrupt the white default of the genre, the Fairy Queen has dark brown skin. It is a tale filled with danger, violence, and treachery as well as bravery, love, and kindness. Imprisonments, escapes, and battles occur at breakneck speed, all described in great detail. Most, though not all, characters are well-developed, some reappearing from the first book and some introduced here. But Wynn, and Elric’s love for her, is at the heart of it all. He believes in her, and she proves to be braver and more capable than anyone thinks, including herself. (Readers of Bailey's author's note in the first book will know that she has Rubenstein-Taybi syndrome, a genetic condition with variable effects.)
Exciting and satisfying, a tightly woven fantasy. (Fantasy. 8-12)