Friday, October 26, 2012

Swift by R.J Anderson

Since reading Knife last year, then picking up the sequel Rebel, a couple of weeks ago I've shot gunned R.J Anderson's faery books. I wasn't exactly sure what she'd do with Swift, because Arrow really did wrap up the story that began in Knife.

For about the first half I thought Swift was an entirely new story about an unrelated group of faery kind. Most of Swift focusses on the piskeys (they live in a Cornish mine and she's blended them with the knockers). The story is told through the eyes of Ivy; a young piskey born without wings who has been forced to grow up quickly due to the absence of her mother.

Ivy's mother was supposedly stolen away by the piskey's sworn enemies; the spriggans. The loss drove her father into the mines where he spends most of his time and when he's not there doesn't communicate much with his three children; Ivy, her irresponsible older brother Mica, and younger sister  Cicely.

Ivy keeps the house and looks after Cicely. One night she's approached by a spriggan and then a mishievous young piskey called Keeve goes missing. The responsible spriggan is believe caught and Ivy discovers that he's not a spriggan at all, he's a faery and he has information about Ivy's missing mother.

What then happens leads Ivy into a journey of discovery. A journey of discovery about herself, her mother, the captured faery and her own people.

It's a nice little fable and it is exciting like all the previous books have been. Anderson only seems capable of writing the one female protagonist. You could put Knife, Linden, Rhosmari and Ivy in a line up and be hard put to tell who was who. It also did tie into the other three books. The young faery, whom Ivy nicknamed Richard, was actually Martin, a faery in Rebel and Arrow.

I've liked the books, but I do think Anderson went a little far and tried to get too much out of a concept that largely ran out of steam after the second book.

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