by Victoria Hanley
pub: Aug 2009
What happens when a fairy corsses the fobidden divide into Earth? In Feyland, all fairies are born with unique magical abilities. Zaria spent her childhood yearning to be like other fairies, but at twelve, she became on of the most powerful fairies ever.
Sneaking through a secret doorway to the human world, Zaria is Earth-struck: she wants to understand and experience everything about humans. But when she is seen, her exposure puts all of Feyland at risk.
With only her own judgment to guide her, Zaria must try to fix the mess she's made on Earth. Will she use her new power wisely and make the right choices?
I've been reading a lot of good fairy stuff lately and add Violet Wings to my list of Feyland treats. It's an endearing tale with lots of magical creatures, lovable characters and enchanting lands. Hanley puts in some fresh takes on fairy lore, such as fairies are the female of the species and have wings, while genies are the males and have magic feet, but both can fly. It's a delightfully woven tale.
Zaria has been an orphan since her parents and brother went missing three years ago, presumably killed by humans. Fairies and humans used to live harmoniously but as technology advanced and humans became more scientific than imaginative, they became dangerous to fairies.
Consequently, for many years now, fairies and genies have been forbidden from letting humans see them and travel between the two worlds is restricted. For a look at Earth and humans, fairies can go to a viewing station and look through magical scopes.
Zaria has been well taken care of since her family's disappearance but by a somewhat detached guardian and therefore, she's been rather lonely. When she comes of age and finally gets her magic wand, excitement ensues. She gets herself in trouble and puts herself and others in danger.
Each fairy has specific gifts and their magic is measured in radia, a precious commodity in Feyland. There are many classes of fey which pertain to their gifts and power. The level of magic is inborn and since magic levels have been decreasing for years, those with high levels are treated with more respect. Zaria turns out to be extremely powerful but, along with her best friend, Leona, a fiesty, hot-tempered cutie, must understand how and when to use the power for good.
There is fairy court intrigue, sinister plots. But as she pushes the envelope of irresponsible behavior Zaria uncovers evidence of nefarious deeds by those in the high court. Could all of this be connected to her long lost family? And she needs to find out why high level individuals seem to have it out for her.
Zaria is spunky, fun and clever, as well as being a loyal and loving friend. She's adorable! Leona gets herself in several tough spots but both girl's are innately good and trying to mature and learn from their mistakes.
The fairy world is complicated so Hanley uses a clever device to help the reader understand the complexities. At the beginning of each chapter, there is an excerpt from a Feyland history book. It provides interesting details of the fairy world that not only explains a multitude of fairy stuff but hints at what's to come in the next chapter. I thought it was very clever and appreciated the insights.
The ending is satisfying with a few bittersweet overtones, but also leaves enough unanswered questions to have me ready for a sequel.
Violet Wings is geared toward younger teens and an extremely enjoyable read. A fun adventure with just a hint of romance, it focuses more on Zaria figuring out the puzzle of what intriguing plots are simmering under the Feyland surface. It's a treat!
Violet Wings is one of the many great books available in our MegaBook Giveaway!