Bailey concocts an abundance of visual description, incident, and drama, satisfying readers’ thirst for action...With all its colorful creatures, sparkling fairyland, and fetid wood, the substance of Bailey’s story lies in loyal friendship, family love, and bravery in the face of fear.
Bailey concocts an abundance of visual description, incident, and drama, satisfying readers’ thirst for action...With all its colorful creatures, sparkling fairyland, and fetid wood, the substance of Bailey’s story lies in loyal friendship, family love, and bravery in the face of fear.”
%COMM_CONTRIB%The Horn Book
Gr 4–6—Only weeks after finding the Silver Gate and becoming the fairy queen's new princess, Wynn is bored. The fairies keep her safe and sheltered in their kingdom beneath a protective dome of light because of the constant threat of the Grendel, who has stolen the queen's children before. While Wynn is kept hidden away, Elric, now a prince expected to become a leader to the fairies, is trained for battle, but his true purpose is to draw the Grendel's attention from his sister. When Wynn is tricked into leaving the protection of the dome and goes into the shadows to save her pet hen Mildred, the queen is devastated, but Elric is determined to find her. Old and new friends alike help the siblings as they search for safety and freedom. Wynn's ongoing struggle with verbal expression leads others to assume that she is less intelligent or weak, but she proves time and again that her strength is in her hope and perseverance, as well as her devotion to her friends. This sequel to The Silver Gate has some frightening and violent moments, with terrifying creatures that aim to kill. These elements make Wynn and Elric's bravery all the more impressive and inspirational. VERDICT Readers who enjoy fairy tales with a bit of edge and realistic emotion will appreciate the intensity of Bailey's story, which deftly portrays the frustrations that children with developmental delays may experience while communicating with others.—Kerry Sutherland, Akron-Summit County Public Library, OH
Wynn and her older brother, Elric, finally felt safe when they came through the Silver Gate and were welcomed by the Fairy Queen, who immediately named them prince and princess (The Silver Gate, 2016).But this world is not really safe. The fairies live under a shield that protects them from the darkness of the Nightfell Wood, which is fully under the control of the evil and power-hungry Grendel. The queen's own power is weakening as she mourns her son and daughter, who were lost long ago, causing her to become overprotective of Wynn and Elric. When Wynn is tricked into entering Nightfell, Elric is determined to find her, no matter the cost. The third-person narrative alternates chapter by chapter between Elric's and Wynn's adventures, which are set in a medieval-esque world with fairies, elves, reapers, and mystical creatures, each with their own magic. While Wynn and Elric do not disrupt the white default of the genre, the Fairy Queen has dark brown skin. It is a tale filled with danger, violence, and treachery as well as bravery, love, and kindness. Imprisonments, escapes, and battles occur at breakneck speed, all described in great detail. Most, though not all, characters are well-developed, some reappearing from the first book and some introduced here. But Wynn, and Elric's love for her, is at the heart of it all. He believes in her, and she proves to be braver and more capable than anyone thinks, including herself. (Readers of Bailey's author's note in the first book will know that she has Rubenstein-Taybi syndrome, a genetic condition with variable effects.)Exciting and satisfying, a tightly woven fantasy. (Fantasy. 8-12)