You might be thinking to yourself: “If I’ve seen one fairy in fairyland, I’ve seen them all.”
Of course, there are exceptions. And the proof lies in the enchanting and mysterious “Wish,” the first in the Faerieground series by Beth Bracken and Kay Fraser.
Hats off to this truly amazing writing team. Not very many authors could pull off the intensity of magic and drama that Bracken and Fraser have managed to do for quite some time now, particularly in this series.
I tried to keep in order the number of books in the Faerieground series, which really isn’t an impossible task. However, I started counting and came up with at least seven books. Then, much to my surprise, I discovered all the soon-to-be-released Faerieground titles. Some are making their debut in July and August. And probably there are lots more that I am unaware of. I do not know why it took me so long to even notice these books. They are like a smorgasbord for ‘tweens,’ a diet to be savored in any season, at any hour of the day and night.
But, “Wish” is not only geared toward young readers; devoted adult fans who believe in the fantasy world created by Bracken and Fraser also will be pleased as they keep up with the characters, always empathizing with their misfortunes, struggles and mistakes. “Wish” is more than a book about good and evil fairies.
There are lots of hard lessons to learn. This book is about the willingness to forgive and the necessity of being thankful for friendships.Soli and Lucy are almost like sisters. They’ve been friends since childhood. They know everything about each other. Soli calls herself the “fearful one.” Lucy is the “brave one.”
Since childhood they have roamed Willow Forest. As kids they carved their initials in an old tree. Even as teenagers they find themselves still frightened, yet fascinated, when they journey into the forest.
They have each other to protect. But, then, something unexpected and bad happens. What harm could come to the girls if wishes were carried out in the forest?
In a moment of heated jealousy, a wish by Soli forces Lucy to disappear into Faerieground. They learn too late that nobody should make wishes in the forest where fairies are all ears and where an evil mother queen, Calandra, rules. There is now much panic and sorrow in the forest as the two close friends try to find and rescue one another. Calandra and her forest henchmen are far more nasty than the evil queen portrayed in “Snow White.” The good king, Calandra’s husband, had died and left his wife to rule the kingdom.
Readers soon discover the reason why Calandra is so angry. She practically kills everything in Faerieground.
To get revenge, a group of fairies take away Calandra’s baby. The baby is delivered to a caring, human mother for safe-keeping. Never have Faerieground and the world above been more divided, enraged and in need of magic to bring them back together to live in harmony.
“Wish” shows young people how silly and dangerous it can be to destroy a long-standing friendship. Friends may not intentionally mean to treat other friends in a cruel manner, but it can and does happen, and it produces feelings of regret, misery and heartache.
The joy of friendship is something to be cherished. The emptiness of losing a friend can last a lifetime.
Bracken and Fraser also can teach parents how not to be judgmental and quick to attack when they do not always know the whole story.
This series would not be complete without the exquisite and somewhat eerie illustrations by Odessa Sawyer. Her art is quite beautiful in a digital, dreamy mixed media kind of way.
Sawyer brings fantasy to life.
Bracken, known especially for the Faerieground books, is also the author of the famous “Henry Helps” series, “Too Shy For Show and Tell,” “Cinderella: The Graphic Novel” and “The Little Bully.”
Fraser, along with other co-authors, has written additional whimsical books, such as “Finn Reeder,” “Flu Fighter: How I Survived a Worldwide Pandemic,” “The School Bully,” and “The Craziest Game of Dodge.”
With “Wish” and books similar, the message rings loud and true, or as Eve Sawyer once said:
“Never underestimate the power of passion.”