Thursday, May 1, 2014

Throwback Thursday: "What Angel Wakes Me from My Flowery Bed?" - Review of "The Faerie Path"

**Originally Posted on cj's bookshelf on July 23, 2011**

Title: The Faerie Path
Author: Frewin Jones
Publisher: Eos
Publication Date: February 1, 2007
Reading Level: 15 and up

Synopsis: (from Goodreads) –
Swept away into a court of magic and beauty, she discovers she is Tania, the lost princess of Faerie: the youngest daughter of Oberon and Titania. Since Tania's mysterious disappearance on the eve of her wedding five hundred years before, Faerie has been sunk in darkness and gloom. The courtly Lord Gabriel Drake, who Tania was once to marry, has found her and brought her back.

With Tania's return, Faerie comes alive again as a land of winged children, glittering balls, and fantastic delights. But Tania can't forget Anita's world, or the boy she loved there.

Torn between two loves and between two worlds, Tania slowly comes to discover why she disappeared so long ago. She possesses a singular magical ability and she must use it to stop a sinister plan that threatens the entire world of Faerie.

My Review:
I picked this book up after a patron came to the library looking for the second book in the series. I haven’t had much luck with faerie stories in the past, but this one looked good so I thought I’d give it a try. My main complaint about faerie stories is that the faerie characters are often written as these smug, arrogant, perfect people that I really can’t bring myself to like (note that I did not use a certain phrase that starts with “M” and rhymes with “ary Sue” because that term has been thrown around so much that it really doesn’t mean anything anymore). The best I can compare it to is that I was never that fond of Tolkien’s Elves – they just always seemed so uppity and (quite frankly) boring. Give me a battle sequence involving the handsome, rugged, mortal, fallible Men any day of the week. Or even the hobbits – with their cute little hobbit feet and constant questioning of their place in Middle Earth and their meaning to the Bigger Picture. Much more interesting.

Back to faeries - As faerie stories go, this one isn’t too bad. It helps that the main character, Tania (initially Anita), has spent the first sixteen years of her life as a human. She is then pulled into the realm of Faerie where she learns that she is the seventh daughter of King Oberon and Queen Titania (mad props for the use of everyone’s favorite Shakespearean mischief makers – though, they really aren’t that mischievous in this book. Sorry to disappoint you). Because she is the seventh daughter, Tania has the ability to travel back forth between the Mortal World and the Faerie Realm. And there’s some stuff about a prophecy and a reclusive older sister and the queen’s been presumed dead for five hundred years (which, coincidentally is the same amount of time Princess Tania has been missing in the mortal world).

If you’re looking for a light little fantasy story, this could be an option for you. There are six books in this series (and it has been finished). It wasn’t terribly gripping, but it was decent enough (the “thee” and “thou” and “mayhap” royal language the faeries used made my eyes gloss over a little bit and I missed important plot points, but that’s just me). And if you’re a fan of faerie stories, this would be a good one to add to your list.

"If we shadows have offended,
Think but this, and all is mended,
That you have but slumbered here
While these visions did appear."
  - opening of Puck's epilogue, "A Midsummer Night's Dream"

*The title of this post came from Shakespeare's "A Midsummer Night's Dream."  You didn't think I'd pass up the chance to quote from this play in a review, did you?*

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