• Bones of Faerie
Bones of Faerie Book Cover Bones of Faerie
Bones of Faerie Trilogy (Book 1)
Janni Lee Simmer
YA Fantasy
Cholla Bear Press
May 6, 2020
ebook, paperback, hardcover

A dark fairy-tale twist on apocalyptic fiction—as familiar as a nightmare, yet altogether unique.

The war between humanity and Faerie devastated both sides. Or so fifteen-year-old Liza has been told. Nothing has been seen or heard from Faerie since, and Liza’s world bears the scars of its encounter with magic. Corn resists being harvested; dandelions have thorns. Trees move with sinister intention, and the town Liza calls home is surrounded by a forest that threatens to harm all those who wander into it. Still Liza feels safe. Her father is strong and has protected their town by laying down strict rules. Among them: Any trace of magic must be destroyed, no matter where it is found.

Then Liza’s sister is born with faerie-pale hair, clear as glass, and Liza’s father leaves the baby on a hillside to die. When her mother disappears into the forest and Liza herself discovers she has the faerie ability to see–into the past, into the future–she has no choice but to flee. Liza’s quest will take her into Faerie and back again, and what she finds along the way may be the key to healing both worlds.

“Don’t touch any stone that glows with faerie light, or that light will burn you fiercer than any fire. Don’t venture out alone into the dark, or the darkness will swallow you whole.”

Bones of Faerie by Janni Lee Simner was a spontaneous selection and I was not disappointed as the story instantly pulled me in with its fast pace. Bones of Faerie is a story about how strength can be found amidst tragedy and heartache.

In a dystopian world, where fear and caution come before anything, magic is outlawed in a small town outpost of humans. Liza has been raised in a world where her father rules with a heavy hand. Kindness is equated to weakness, and magic of any kind is met with the swift blow of death at his hand. He believes it’s for the benefit of the community and human kind. When Liza’s father unflinchingly takes the life of her baby sister, his cruel act causes her mother to vanish. Liza is left wondering how magic could be worse than the pain her father has inflicted on their family.

All her life, Liza has been told that since the Faeries won the war, every living thing is a potential threat —a tool that could be used by the Faerie. The threat is at its worst at night, where living things and shadows can easily take a human life, but leaving to find her mother is all that Liza cares about. Liza leaves and then stumbles onto a group of people who embrace magic and give her a new perspective. Part of learning about magic, Liza discovers she also holds her own kind of magic, and that her childhood was more distorted than what she had originally thought.

The beauty of Bones of Faerie is watching Liza bloom into the person she was born to become by learning to accept her past, as well as what the future holds for her. Part of her growth involves learning to embrace the help that is freely given by others, and learning to trust what she sees in front of her.

Bones of Faerie is a great read for all ages, and though it deals with themes of death and harm, Janni Lee Simmer address it with purpose, beautiful prose, and carefully evoked emotions. A fantastic first book in a trilogy, you will for sure want to read more.