A Lot or a Little?
What you will—and won't—find in this book.
The heroine speaks out against the injustice of the Various' caste system.
Violence & Scariness
Several killings, by arrow, poisoned dart, and animal attack. Kids in life-threatening danger.
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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.
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.
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Our Editors Recommend
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