2 out of 4 stars
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Carmelina Citrinia Foxglove, known as Cecee, is the eldest daughter of the king of the fairies in Earth, Wind and Fairies by Sally MacIntyre. Just before her seventeenth birthday, she receives a gift of the special Rowan Seed and a small vial of liquid. She learns that she must keep them safe for three months so that she can complete a special task with them on the last day of December. Unfortunately, a huge wind storm blows through their forest and sweeps Cecee away to an unknown land, starting a series of adventures for Cecee and her family.
After Cecee’s disappearance, her brother, Tross, decides to secretly join the troop of soldiers that their father sends to look for his missing daughter. Cecee’s younger sister, Tizzy, finds her own set of trouble when she flies through a rainbow, contracting a sickness known as “Yellow Fever,” and later runs away after being disciplined by her father. Readers follow all three of the king’s children on their journeys through this novel.
I really appreciate the way that the author spent plenty of time building out her world before she wrote her story. She clearly spent time deciding how the world would be structured and how the magic of the world would work. At the end of the novel, MacIntyre even includes rules and detailed descriptions of how the games work that she mentions in the novel. I found this impressive since the games barely get more than a passing mention in the novel.
My big struggle with this story was in the plot elements of the story. I felt that the novel as a whole was not cohesive. MacIntyre does have the macro-plot of attempting to get Cecee home in time to plant her seed, but there are quite a few micro-plots that felt unrelated to the macro-plot. Even the stories involving Tross and Tizzy felt only tangentially related to the central plot of the novel, yet their stories comprise almost an equal amount of the novel as Cecee’s story. Some of the smaller stories also created a sense of a false ending as they get resolved far too early in the novel.
Another area that felt weak to me was the conflict itself. While MacIntyre was not afraid to create conflicts for her characters, I felt that many of the conflicts resolved themselves far too easily. For example, there were times when Cecee would lose her pouch containing the Rowan Seed, only to regain it a couple of pages later with little or no effort on her part. There are other elements to each of the characters’ stories that have a similar feeling of being too easy for my taste.
As a whole, MacIntyre’s novel could use some editing to both the story and the technical elements. MacIntyre has a great concept and a well-developed world, but she needs a bit of editing to polish the story. Her characters have a tendency to drone on with exposition, rarely allowing a reader to come to her own conclusions. There were also quite a few technical issues with commas and word choice which could have been caught with a professional edit.
Because of her strong world building and concept, I give Sally MacIntyre’s Earth, Wind and Fairies 2 out of 4 stars. I believe her novel would appeal well to middle grade readers fascinated with fairies and unicorns. Readers that wish to avoid intense conflicts in their novels would also appreciate MacIntyre’s storytelling style. Anyone looking for a complex, epic fantasy series would do best to look elsewhere.
Earth, Wind and Fairies
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