Monday, May 20, 2013

Fresh Forest Finds: The Faire Folk Trilogy

A few weeks ago, I was staring at a stack of books that didn't interest me and thought, "Why oh why can't I just find a great book about a forest girl discovering magic and going on adventures?"  So I did a search at the library and found the Faire Folk Trilogy by Gillian Summers.  This series has it all: renaissance fairs, elves, trees, enchanted caravan RVs, cats, unicorns, acorns, fashion, and fairies!  What more could a forest fairytale reader ask for in a book?

Book One: The Tree Shepherd's Daughter opens up with a typical California girl, Keelie Heartwood who has just been sent to live with her nomadic father at a Renassaince festival in the forest after the death of heer mother.    At first, she resists this new life because of an "allergy" to wood and a longing for the modern comforts of an LA life.  That is until she meets a cute elf boy, Sean and some supernatural friends.  Strange things start happening in the forest, and with Keelie.  All of a sudden she can talk to trees and harness their power!  

Book Two: Into the Wildewood follows Keelie's adventures now that she has finally accepted life in the woods as an elf. The faire packs up and she heads off in a Swiss Miss chalet to the Wildewood Renaissance Faire.  But strange things are afoot, a mean elf girl named Elia won't stop torturing her and the trees keep attacking with acorns.  At the same time, Keelie is pining for the elven jouster she left behind in Colorado and resisting the lure of a unicorn into the deep parts of a dying forest.  Life as an elf is turning out to be dreadfully disenchanted... 

When I discovered these tales, my library only had books two & three so I started with Into the Wildewood and bought myself the first book for a few dollars online.  I definitely want to get all three for my personal library! I loved the little details in these volumes: the descriptions of fashions and decor, Keelie's longing for a Blackberry cell phone, the Hawk named Ariel, and so much more!

What I didn't love was the disdain Keelie initially has towards the forest.  She's living the fairytale life in an RV, with cats, friends, amazing costumes and real magic!  The pages of these books were a portal to my dream world, I would have been ecstatic to live in such a world!  However, this attitude grows and changed with her character and it is interesting to see the forest form a different point of view.

Book Three: The Secret of the Dread Forest is a thrilling conclusion to this treasure of a trilogy.  Keelie and her dad return to Dread Forest, Oregon with Keelie's grandmother and the elf tribe.  Things are looking grim- humans are wandering further into the forest, a strange new boy in on the run in the woods, and the elves don't trust Keelie because of her half-human heritage.  Her only consolation prize is a little tree who demands jewelry.  To find out what happens next, you'll just have to read the book yourself...

What do you think of the Faire Folk Trilogy, my friends of the forest?   If you wish to read more, check out the new Scions of Shadow Trilogy, where Keelie's adventures take her to the California Redwoods for a Shakespearean festival...

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