Gosh I want to be able to say smart, insightful things about this book because it is so darn good. I fear, however, that smart and insightful have gone directly into hiding after the first day back at school with my supersized gaggle of 10-year-olds. So, because I would rather write not-so-smart, not-so-insightful things about this glorious book than write nothing at all, I will have to be satisfied with my best effort.
I’m so far behind the rest of the fantasy-reading world in getting to Laini Taylor’s debut title, Fairies of Dreamdark: Blackbringer. Wanted to read it for ages and ages and finally Santa set me up. I sank down into Laini’s story and I didn’t want to come out. It merits every glowing review, I must say.
You don’t realize how many bleh fantasy tales there are out there these days until you have the good fortune to read a real crackerjack. Blackbringer is the story of Magpie Windwitch. She’s a bit of a bad-ass – a fairy who’d much rather spend her days tracking and hunting escaped devils than living a quiet life in the forest of Dreamdark, turning her back on the evil that’s brewing in the world. Magpie makes her way through her adventures, ridding the world of snags amidst a motley band of crows. They are her clan, and they’ve been with her through many dangers. Good thing Magpie has had plenty of practice with the danger thing, because an ancient force of evil, the Blackbringer, has found its way back into the world. Its dastardly purpose? Oh, only to completely unmake the world, forever and ever. It is Magpie’s quest to stop the Blackbringer.
Let me be clear. Just the story would make this book entirely worth reading, but Ms. Laini Taylor’s gift doesn’t end with plotting an action-packed, twisty and turny adventure tale. No sirree. The lady can write characters too, with leap-off-the-page dimension and snap-crackling dialogue that makes you feel like an actual fairy is whispering into your ear. Oh, and setting? Yeah, she’s crafted a richly layered, complex fantasy world with its own history, traditions, tales and lore. I can only guess how much thought and time went into building that world even before the writing began. I think that’s why the story is ultimately so satisfying, and feels already like a classic.
I’m desperate for Silksinger, the second book in the series – desperate, you hear! So, if you’re the last remaining fantasy-lover out there who has not read Blackbringer, then wait no longer. This is a book that you’ll hug when you’re done, then you’ll place it ever-so-gently on your “special shelf” of your most treasured reads. Promise.
Laini Taylor’s Blackbringer is published by Putnam.