A girl who can see fairies meets a boy with similar abilities and gets mixed up in a dangerous magical adventure.
Tanya Fairchild previously appeared in Harrison’s 13 Treasures trilogy. In this prequel, the magical world is similarly menacing. A crazed fairy, desperate to reanimate his lost love, seeks a final ingredient for his dark spell. The boy who unwittingly holds the key crosses paths with Tanya, who’s on vacation in the small town of Spinney Wicket with her recently divorced mother. Henry Hanratty rejects Tanya’s friendly overtures, but she’s determined to get to know him. That determination eventually wins her some useful advice, but it also leads to an encounter with a monstrous hag, a frightening trip down a deep well, and a final confrontation with evil. Tanya’s willingness to risk her life for someone she’s just met isn’t entirely plausible, and a minor subplot about just why some fairies turn ill-tempered feels forced, but Harrison’s evocative descriptions of the dangers Tanya faces will likely carry readers along smoothly enough. Touches of humor lighten the tone in spots, but there’s plenty of peril, and even the resolution has its dark side.
Ultimately, this plot-heavy plunge into the world of (not very nice) fairies is unlikely to win Harrison new fans, although it may be popular with fans of the author’s original trilogy. (Gothic fantasy. 10-14)