30 January, 2011

Book Review: Faerie Wars

Title: Faerie Wars
Author: Herbie Brennan
Publisher: Bloomsbury
Genre: Fantasy/Adventure
Page Count: 368
Rating: 4 out of 5
Cover Rating: 3.8 out of 5. It's interesting, although I think they could have made it a little less blue and kind of girly, because I think this book would appeal to teens from both genders.

Back Cover:

There was nothing on the paperback about the contents; I picked it up because I am always on the lookout for a good faerie book that doesn't involve excessive romance and because Eoin Colfer (the author of my all-time favorite series Artemis Fowl) said that "Faerie Wars is an outstanding blend of fantasy, mythology, and science." Well. I trust his judgement. Also, VOYA, SLJ, Booklist, The Guardian, The NYTBR, and Kirkus all thought it was great.

My expectations: Obviously, I had pretty high expectations.

They weren't quite met, but I have to say I really enjoyed this book anyway.

About the book: Faerie Wars is an interesting mix. It said on the cover (somewhere among those rave reviews) that it was funny, but I found the humor fell flat for me; that isn't to say I didn't find it unamusing. I found it more quirky and interesting than funny. It was kind of like The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy, in some ways, with the characters and the plot going in all different directions and strange things happening at every turn.

The writing style was unlike any other I've come across. Herbie Brennan has, according to Wikipedia, written over 100 books, fiction and nonfiction, so it's not like it was a debut novel or anything like that--I couldn't really tell. I like his style, either way.

  • Plot:
There are a lot of narratives, in this book and in the other books in the series. I got confused a few times, but remembered who they were pretty soon after I noticed they were talking to so-and-so. Brennan is good at cliffhangers as well--it was infuriating at times, but they certainly were effective in keeping me turning the pages to the next scene. Overall, the plot was strong and moved fast.

  • Characters:
I kept getting confused as to how old Henry (the MC) was. Sometimes I thought he was more like 11, and other times there were references that indicated someone more like 14. I think he's actually the latter, although some of his thoughts/reactions didn't quite fit that idea. I never really got attached to Henry.

I liked Pyrgus more. He was more interesting, frankly. I liked his spunk and, at the same time, his compassion. He had a strong character, and many of the things he did were well-meaning, even if they didn't always work out in the end.

Holly was independent and determined. Sister of Pyrgus, she was headstrong and refused to let anyone push her around just because she was a girl. She was smart, too--she controls the Emperor's spy network--and probably my favorite out of the trio.

  • Setting/Elements:

I love Fantasy, and the world in this book is amazing. Fairies, portals, demons, magic, and excellent villains made the surroundings in which the story takes place highly enjoyable to read about.

Other: References, (which is why I think Henry was older than he originally seemed), some language, and violence.

Do I recommend this book? Yes!

-----The Golden Eagle


Old Kitty said...

Oooooh!!!! I like the sound of this!!! It sounds so quirky!!! Thanks for the review!! I think I've actually seen a copy in my favourite grocery shop!!!!! I'll have another look and may buy if it's the same one!! Take care

mist of the blossom rain said...

100 books is a lot! I like the sound of this book, I'll check it out!

Anonymous said...

Thanks for the review. I don't read a lot of fantasy but can easily see parallels with sci fi. The setting and time era may be different but the stories can easily be swapped.

N. R. Williams said...

Interesting review. I think I'll have to check into that.
N. R. Williams, fantasy author

Julie @ Knitting and Sundries said...

Hmmm ... I like odd humor, and I'm starting to even like faeries :) ... I might have to check this one out!

Anonymous said...

I haven't seen this before. Thanks for sharing. I've read a few fairy books and would like to read more.

Brian said...

I love the imaginary worlds too, thanks for the great review!

Jemi Fraser said...

Sounds intriguing! I have a couple of students who I think would like this! thanks for the tip :)

Sharon K. Mayhew said...

Sounds like a good book...I'll keep my eyes open for it. :)

Sharon K. Mayhew said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
gideon 86 said...

Great review, Golden,

I love fantasy and must check this one out.

BTW I am a finalist in Dom's blogfest, so if you have the chance please vote for your favorite. The voting is at Writes of passage, and you can find it at my blog.

Have a great week.


Misha said...

The book sounds fantastic! I love faerie books. Thanks for the review!

Madeleine said...

I'm glad you enjoyed the book. Sometimes when expectations are high they are not met and when they are low they are exceeded.
I've just read a book that I was really expecting to enjoy: 'Never Let Me Go' but I had to drag myself kicking and wailing to the end because I did not enjoy the style, I found it rather bland and fairly predictable and at the end I almost felt 'so what?' which is a shame because it could have been so much more and I wonder if the film adaptation is better. :O)

M Pax said...

Sounds like a great book. Thanks for the heads up.

Lydia K said...

Great review. It may be hard for any boy to pick up a novel about fairies, cover aside.

In any case, thanks for the detailed info. I hadn't heard of this one!

ali said...

Interesting! Thanks for the review :)

Susan Kaye Quinn said...

Thanks for pointing out this book! I, too, would take Colfer's recommendation highly - love his books! I will have to check this one out myself, as part of my faerie-writing-research. :)

Amanda the Aspiring said...

I think that cover's one of the most manly covers I've seen for a fairy/faerie book, but there's room for improvement. Being a girl, I'd pick it up either way, but I can see boys leaving it on the shelf. And then there's not much you can do about 'Faerie Wars'--even the first word is girly, which detracts significantly from the more masculine second word.

But enough about the title and cover. I must say that I haven't actually read any fairy/faerie books to date. There's really no particular reason why--I'm just drawn to darker stuff in general, and the idea of faeries has always struck me as Disney Tinkerbell. But I would definitely pick this book up, solely because of Eoin Colfer's endorsement. =)

Elliot Grace said...

"...the writing style was unlike any other I've come across."

What an enviable compliment:)
Great review!


Damyanti said...

This sounds like a good book, I might pick it up...thanks for the review.

....Petty Witter said...

Hmm. Not too sure about this one. I'm beginning to feel that the paranormal may have had its day.

Rachel Morgan said...

Hmm... I think on the whole I prefer stories with slightly older protagonists... (with the exception of Harry Potter of course!)

Thanks for the review though :-)

Talli Roland said...

Sounds like an interesting book! I don't read much fantasy, but I might need to chek this out.

The Golden Eagle said...

Old Kitty: You must have an awesome grocery store! Wal-Mart would never stock something like Faerie Wars. :P

Emily: I know--I was amazed when I found out he'd done so much.

Stephen: Exactly!

Nancy: Glad you thought so!

Julie: I hope you do! It's a good book.

Medeia: You're very welcome. :)

Brian: The imaginary part is the best about Fantasy.

You're welcome!

Jemi: You're welcome! I'm glad you found a use for the review.

Sharon: It is! If you do end up reading it, I hope you enjoy Faerie Wars.

Michael: Thank you!

I love Fantasy, too.

I voted on the poll! :) Congratulations on being a finalist!

Misha: You're welcome!

The Golden Eagle said...

Madeleine: Very true. It's hard to start something without expecting a result--unless it's something random without information about it anywhere.

It's too bad you didn't like the book! I've heard of it--but only in passing, I believe.

M Pax: I'm happy to spread the word!

Lydia: Thank you!

True. I wonder if the author considered that aspect when he came up with the title--because he seems to be writing for a wide audience.

You're welcome! :)

Ali: You're very welcome!

Susan: Glad to help!

I LOVE Colfer's novels. Artemis Fowl, as I mentioned in the post, is one of my favorite series.

Amanda: You have a point there. Too bad it wasn't something like "War of the Realms"; then it might bring in more readers.

If you want a dark book on fairies, try Tithe by Holly Black. It's definitely not Tinker Bell. :P

Elliot: It really is different from other books I've read, which is part of the reason I picked up all the subsequent books.

Thank you!

Damyanti: You're welcome! :)

Tracy: This is Fantasy, actually. And it's not the usual kind of "girl/boy meets boy/girl" and so forth--the plot and characters are completely different.

Rachel: I just learned that he's 16, which I find a little hard to believe. So not that young, although he does seem that way sometimes.

Even if it's not a book you want to read, at least now you know more about it. :)

The Golden Eagle said...

It's a good book! :)