The Various Book Poster Image

The Various



Lyrical, exciting intro to violent fantasy beings.

What parents need to know

Positive messages

The heroine speaks out against the injustice of the Various' caste system.


Several killings, by arrow, poisoned dart, and animal attack. Kids in life-threatening danger.

Not applicable
Not applicable
Not applicable
Drinking, drugs, & smoking
Not applicable

Parents Need to Know

Parents need to know that this isn't a book about Disney fairies -- the Various are in every way, except stature, primitive and at times savagely violent adults. Several are killed violently, and they pose a serious threat to the lives of the human child protagonists.

Parents say

Not yet rated
Review this title!

What's the story?

Midge is less than thrilled to be sent to stay with her eccentric uncle on his rundown farm while her mother is on tour with her orchestra. But once there she finds she loves the place, and her affable uncle.

While exploring one of the outbuildings, she finds a strange injured creature -- Pegs, a small horse with wings who can communicate telepathically. She nurses it back to health, and learns that it lives in the dense woods that her uncle plans to sell to a developer. When Pegs learns of these plans, he insists that Midge accompany him back to the woods to tell this news to the beings who live hidden there -- the Various. But now that Midge knows of the Various, some of the them think that she should not be allowed to leave alive.

Is it any good?


This literary fantasy, the first of a planned trilogy, harkens back to the style of the great fantasy writers of the past but updates it for a new generation. Steve Augarde takes his time getting to the crux of the story and doesn't talk down to his audience -- he writes in dense and lyrical prose best suited to experienced readers and listeners. But there's an edge here, a visceral violence that will keep young readers in high suspense, as he makes it seem perfectly possible that his characters can be injured and even killed. Readers will care about that because Augarde's characters are especially delightful.

Augarde is especially good at vivid details, and the world of the Various is made compelling and real. Experienced readers will love this, be eager for the sequel, and may just go exploring in any nearby woods to see if there are any Various to be found.

Families can talk about...

  • Families can talk about the caste system of the Various. Why do so many cultures seem stratified? Is equality really possible? Also, why are there so many variations of Elementals in so many cultures around the world -- fairies, elves, dwarves, sprites, pixies, gnomes, goblins, brownies, leprechauns, etc.? How do the Various compare?

Book details

Author:Steve Augarde
Book type:Fiction
Publisher:David Fickling Books
Publication date:November 1, 2005
Number of pages:447

This review of The Various was written by

Common Sense Media's unbiased ratings are conducted by expert reviewers and aren't influenced by the product's creators or by any of our funders, affiliates, or partners.


Our star rating assesses the media's overall quality.

Find out more

About these links

Common Sense Media, a nonprofit organization, earns a small affiliate fee from Amazon or iTunes when you use our links to make a purchase. Thank you for your support.

Read more

About Our Rating System

The age displayed for each title is the minimum one for which it's developmentally appropriate. We recently updated all of our reviews to show only this age, rather than the multi-color "slider." Get more information about our ratings.

Great handpicked alternatives

  • Classic tale a bit slow but retains its appeal.

Top advice and articles

What parents and kids say

See all user reviews

Share your thoughts with other parents and kids Write a user review

A safe community is important to us. Please observe our guidelines

Kid, 11 years old February 16, 2012


this book was really boring it was a waste of time!!!!!
What other families should know
Too much violence
Too much swearing


Did our review help you make an informed decision about this product?