, by Herbie Brennan follows in the footsteps of Eoin Colfer's Artemis Fowl
with its tale of fairy-folk and derring-do. But whereas Colfer's little people have a thoroughly modern edge throughout, Brennan comes at them from a slightly different angle in a highly original novel that weaves modern science with a good, old-fashioned fantasy story.
Henry, an ordinary boy, is thrown into turmoil when his mother apparently has an affair with his father's secretary and it looks as if his hitherto safe, if a little dull, world is about to fall to pieces. To avoid the arguments and the tense silences he heads for the haven of Mr Fogarty's house to spend time with the old man whose passion lies in scientific experiments and the accompanying paraphernalia.
Meanwhile, on an altogether different plane, Pyrgus Malvae, son of an emperor, has fallen out with his father and sets about making mischief. What he doesn't realise is that there are greater forces at work than his teenage tantrums, and not only his life, but that of his family's, is under serious threat. To save his life he transports, accidentally ending up in Mr Fogarty's back garden (where he appears as a tiny fairy--bizarre but true!). Before long, Pyrgus Malvae, Henry and Mr Fogarty are trapped in battle between distant worlds and dark forces, the result of which will change all their lives forever.
The aforementioned Eoin Colfer reckons that Herbie Brennan is a master of mythology, science and fantasy. Indeed he is, and despite a few hiccups in the handling of Henry's situation which seem somehow ill at ease with the rest of the book, he pulls off his first major work of fiction with admirable poise in a pleasingly challenging fantasy for older readers. (Includes some strong language and subject matter). Recommend for ages 11 and over. --Susan Harrison
--This text refers to the
Praise for the Faerie Wars series: 'If Mervyn Peake met Melvin Burgess in a very dark alley, they might emerge with Faerie Wars' Eoin Colfer 'Inventive as Harry Potter, dark as Gormenghast and as intelligently probing as Philip Pullman, here is a title to brighten the dreariest of winter days' Nicholas Tucker, Independent