Pretty much everything here originally appeared at my actual blog: By Singing Light. I particularly focus on upper middle-grade and young adult books. I also enjoy adult genre books, especially speculative fiction.
In the aftermath of a war between the tightropers and the fairies, ostensibly on behalf of the gnomes who life under the city, the only fairies left in Ferrum are Beckan and her friends. They do what they have to to survive. This one is memorable for a couple of reasons: it doesn’t shy away from what happens in wars, even fictional ones, and how that has forced Beckan and her friends to grow up very quickly. At the same time, there are things that they don’t understand, or don’t fully understand at first.
It also has a marvelously inventive & original world and society that still somehow has bits of fairy tale echoes. I found the details of the different places, as well as the interaction between fairies, gnomes, and tightropers, to be both original and convincing. Finally, the voice here is fantastic–I don’t want to give too much away, but this is a time that unreliable narration really worked for me. And there’s a sense of hard won hope that I really bought and appreciated. I’m still thinking about this book, weeks later.