At twelve years old, Emily Snow has been looking after her younger brother since her parents disappeared. She tries to earn enough money to feed them both by selling watercress on the streets of Victorian London. One cold morning on her way to the watercress vendor, Emily encounters several strange small people having a battle. After the battle, two men approach her to ask her what she witnessed. Emily refuses to tell them, but that is not the last she will hear from them or from the piskies she saw battling. In fact, Emily has just entered the confusing and amazing world of the sidhe where both sides want her to help them and no one is telling the truth. Joined by Jack, a thief from the streets, Emily tries to figure out who she can trust and what her role is in the future of both humans and fey.
This book is a pleasure to read. Crilley has nicely balanced the world of the fey with the real world of London. Filled with details about the city, this book’s setting is well drawn and delightfully mixed with the magic and wonder of the sidhe world. Crilley also offers a feisty heroine who will delight young readers not only with her intelligence but her own guile as she deals with the faeries and The Invisible Order of humans too. The book reads effortlessly, beginning quickly with the pages whipping by as the adventure heats up. Children looking for a good read should look no further. Teachers as well should look to this as a great classroom read with enough action to keep even the most doubtful listener rapt.
A delight of a novel, this is one of the top faery books I have read for younger readers. Appropriate for ages 9-12.
Reviewed from copy received from Egmont.