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Thursday, January 9, 2014

Rebel, written by R J Anderson. Orchard Books, Harper. 2010. $10.99 ages 10 and up

"Timothy sucked in a breath and let it out slowly. His eyes followed the cross as it swung back and forth at the end of the leather cord. It had to be as potent a weapon against magic as the key he'd lost, if not better...and what good would his music do him, if the Empress was going to kill him anyway? "All right," he said in a rough voice. "It's a bargain."

Rebel is the second book in a fantasy series by this new-to-me Canadian author. Last month I told you about Knife, the first one. I loved that book, and I am really happy to have had the chance to read this second one. There are a few familiar characters; but the main ones are totally different. This time, we meet Linden and learn that she is concerned for her tree family's fate. We know that things are not good for the faerie folk of Oakenwyld. The queen is dying, and all her magic will die with her. Thus, the Oak people will be unprotected. To prevent this from happening, the Queen calls on Linden. Her dying wish is that Linden will take half of her magic, trusting that Linden will use it to save her people. She leaves her regal role to Valerian, the healer.

Knife, the main character in the first story, is now married to Paul and living as a human. Linden begins at their home as she sets out on her quest to learn about the early magic of her people, and what happened to it. There she meets Timothy, Paul's cousin, who has been sent to Paul because of bad behavior at school. Timothy is unsure of his place in the household, and worried that secrets are not being shared with him.

Thinking that he will take his fate into his own hands, he runs away to London. Linden rides along in his backpack, unbeknownst to Timothy. When he finally finds her there, he decides to aid her in finding help from other faeries. They wind up meeting male faeries, whose existence is a surprise to Linden having grown up in a female world. But, there are other faeries who are not sympathetic to the plight of the Tree folk. They can cause big problems for both Timothy and Linden.

This second story is very exciting. Linden does not stay near her home; her journey takes her to London, Wales and other unfamiliar places that may provide the answers she needs. It has a terrific plot: even the addition of a number of new characters is expertly handled and never confusing to its readers. The fast pace and constant travel kept me reading from the first page to the last. There was no stopping to catch my breath, or sleep.

Linden is a believable and most likable lead character. She is shy and innocent to the ways of the world, and often made me laugh out loud.  The struggle between what is good and what is not provides an impetus to move forward, after meeting faerie folk who are unlike any others you may have previously met.

The ending leaves me with hope that their story will continue, in a new book. I guess I will just have to wait (eagerly) and see. The anticipation will be the best part, won't it?  

1 comment:

  1. Thanks so much for the lovely review(s) of KNIFE and REBEL! I'm happy to report that the third book of the series, ARROW, is already available in Canada -- ISBN 978-1408312629. ( has it in stock right now, though Chapters/Indigo/Coles is saying 3-5 weeks for some reason. But any independent bookseller should be able to get it more quickly than that, I'd hope!)

    I'm very pleased you enjoyed the books so much, and hope you don't mind me barging in with this comment!