“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.