Friday, June 08, 2007
Book Review: Faeries of Dreamdark: Blackbringer
Faeries of Dreamdark: Blackbringer
by Laini Taylor
Magpie isn't like other faeries. Accompanied by her band of crows, she travels the world, capturing devils that the unwitting humans have released from the bottles in which they've been imprisoned for thousands of years. But when she finds an empty bottle with a broken seal bearing the sign of Magruwen, the Djinn King, she knows that this is no ordinary devil. For Magruwen himself to have sealed the bottle means that its occupant must be powerful. And indeed, the horror that has been unleashed on the world is a monstrous shadow known as the Blackbringer, which devours everything in its path. Magruwen and the other Djinn withdrew from the world millennia ago, and the magic of the faeries has diminished over the years. Magpie and her friends are all that stands between the world and this new horror.
It's hard to describe Faeries of Dreamdark: Blackbringer in a way that does it justice. Start with a richly imagined world, add a heroine who is not only courageous but obsessed, stir in a bunch of other interesting characters, and throw in some stuff about dreams and the relationship and responsibility between a creator and his creations, and you've got a potent mix.
Faeries of Dreamdark: Blackbringer is a wonderful book on many levels, but at its core what really makes it work is the interactions between the characters, especially between Magpie and the other characters. Magpie is astonishing in her stubbornness, her determination, and her devotion to her friends. She's a young woman on a mission, and she's not going to let anything stand in her way, even her creator. One of my favorite scenes has her facing off against the Djinn King, creator of the world, in a like-father-like-daughter type contest of wills. The other characters in the book are equally interesting, including a young man who overcomes his physical limitations in surprising ways, and matches Magpie in personal heroism.