Tuesday, July 03, 2007

New Release Spotlight: Ironside: A Modern Faery’s Tale

Ironside: A Modern Faery’s Tale By Holly Black

Ironside: A Modern Faery’s Tale lives up to the hype of its title. It is a modernized tale of mystical creatures, with a punked-out fairy as the main character and with a thorough mixing of today’s teen culture with the mythology of mythical creatures. Holly Black takes familiar fairy tale plotlines—a quest to obtain a love, a power struggle between two kingdoms, a happy ending—and creates a modern day twist, making this faery’s tale one that today’s teens can relate to.

The kingdoms of the Seelies and the Unseelies are eternally in conflict. Roiben, a faery once of the Seelie court becomes the king of the Unseelies. Kaye, Roiben’s only true friend, declares her love on the eve of his coronation. To prove her love, she is sent on an impossible quest, banished from the Unseelie court until it is complete. While she contemplates her quest, she finds that Roiben and the queen of the Seelie court are at battle again and that Roiben intends to follow a plan that will only cause him harm. Throw into the mix that Kaye must reveal to her human family that she is not actually their human child, but a faery playing the part, and the whole plot becomes a complicated, angst-filled mess, just as it should be in any realistic young adult novel.

Holly Black uses exquisite detail to create her characters and to mix the world of reality with the fantastical. She has a firm grasp on the language of the teenage world and give her characters realistic voices that will resonate with today’s teens. Though aspects of her books are fantastical and larger than life, she captures the true hearts of the audience by basing her story in events that today’s teenager may actually face—love lost, unsure identity, fitting into the real world and into one’s own family, and the battle of what is considered bad and what is considered good that wages in each teenager’s life today.

Review by Katrina Hill, Indigo Editing LLC

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