I don’t read tons of teen fantasy, but I’m always on the look out for something unique. My tastes run a little more towards dark and speculative than romantic and angsty. I first picked up this book because I was madly in love with it’s beautiful cover. In a sea of supernatural romances, Bones of Faerie stands head and shoulders above the competition, perhaps because it’s not, at its core, a romance, but a story about family, coming-of-age (the magic words!), and prejudice.
Liza lives in a secluded village that is still realing from a major war with the mysterious and magical Faery. Her younger sister was left to die on the hillside because she exhibited physical features that marked her as magical. Years later, Liza is still haunted by the cruel death of her sister and the strange disappearance of her mother. She sets off into the forest in search of answers, but what she finds is perhaps more than she can handle.
Bones of Faerie is an original blend of post-apocalyptic fiction and fantasy. It’s not as urban or gritty as Holly Black, nor as romantic as Lesley Livingston. It is a book that can pull it’s own weight among the works of Patricia McKillip and Jane Yolen, which is fitting, given that the book is highly praised by Yolen right on the cover. Her writing is elegant and sophisticated but also very accessible; it is a smooth, clean read.
If I had to use a single word to describe this book, it would be evocative. Simner’s writing style is eerie and atmospheric in the best possible way. She parcels out exposition in tantalizing little bites that never get in the way of the pace of the story and leave you hungry for more. This is a great book to give to teens who are hooked on vampires/fairies/werewolves/etc, but may be in need of a bit more substance. I am very much looking forward to the release of Simner’s latest title, Thief Eyes, which comes out this spring.
Bones of Faerie is available now from Random House Books for Young Readers.