Today I’ll be reviewing The Magpie’s Daughter, by Fiona Skye. The book is set in the same universe as her Revelations series, and has some character and event overlap with it. Here’s the cover and blurb:
When Aeryn Walker receives a mysterious package for her sixteenth birthday, she has no idea that what’s hidden inside will catapult her into a dangerous adventure, full of magic and faeries, where she will uncover the secret of her father’s true identity
|Character and Dialogue||17 points|
|Setting and Description||20 points|
|Plot and Creativity||18 points|
|Technical Ability||20 points|
|Cover and Blurb||19 points|
- Very believable, relatable characters who sound like real people.
- Excellent description with vivid imagery.
- Fast-paced, interesting story with a familiar plot but unique characters
- Excellent technical ability
- Beautiful cover that directly relates to the story and a tight, interesting blurb
Keep Reading for the long review.
Character and Dialogue: 17 points
One of the things I really liked about this book is that Aeryn, the main character, is a very believable teenage girl. She goes back and forth between wanting to be treated like an adult and needing someone to take care of her. Her moods are kind of mercurial, which is also just like the teenage girls I’ve known.
There’s a host of secondary characters around Aeryn who are all very well thought out, as well. I’m not going to spoil anything for people, so I won’t go into any detail on the other characters, but I think anyone who reads this book will enjoy meeting them all.
I’ve mentioned in other reviews that people talking to each other like adults—or near-adults—is a big deal for me. One of my biggest pet peeves in any kind of story is artificially inflated drama caused by nothing more than people refusing to speak to each other. That being said, the time or two when Aeryn does keep things from someone else when she really shouldn’t have didn’t end up bothering me that much. I think maybe it’s because of her age—teens really do get secretive when they reach a certain age. (I should mention that I have two teenage children, so I’ve got some personal experience to draw from, here.)
Setting and Description: 20 points
As I said in my earlier review of one of Fiona Skye’s books, this author really excels at description. As a reader, I could clearly see each scene occurring in my head as I read it. Her descriptions of Faerie are, well, fantastic. There’s some nice use of atmosphere to convey the mood of the scene going on here, too. I’ve read plenty of books dealing with Faeries and this one fits right in, with its vivid images of Faerie Lands and detailed descriptions of the denizens of those lands.
There are several action scenes in this book, and the author does a good job of showing how far out of her depth Aeryn really is. Though she does grow and learn quite a bit during the course of the story, she’s still outclassed by basically everything she runs into, and has to rely on cleverness and wit.
Plot and Creativity: 18 points
The plot in The Magpie’s Daughter is, for the most part, pretty straightforward. I’ve always liked Portal fantasies, so I came into the book expecting to enjoy it. I was not let down. There’s a certain basic formula for this kind of book: Person from modern Earth is tossed into a fantastical and/or primitive world where he or she feels completely out of place and has to learn to survive in an alien environment. What makes these kinds of stories unique is the place the main character ends up in, and the characters themselves.
I did like that many of the characters in this book break stereotypes. Again, I can’t go into much detail without spoiling important parts of it, but I will say that a good portion of the Faeries Aeryn encounters are very different from what you might expect.
Technical Ability: 20 points
Not much to say here. The book is well-edited and I didn’t spot much in the way of errors. There’s a single point of view, and a nice balance of dialogue, narrative and description.
Cover and Blurb: 19 points
The cover of The Magpie’s Daughter is very pretty, and relates directly to the story. It’s really one of the nicer covers I’ve seen on a self-published or small press book. Thumbs up to whoever did the artwork on this one.
The blurb is extremely short, in fact it’s a single sentence. Despite that, it manages to pack in a fair amount of information and excitement. I like that it draws interest without giving away much of the plot at all. I imagine that some people might want a little more out of the blurb, but I can’t really find fault with it. It does its job of making me want to open the book.
Overall Score: 94 points. The Magpie’s Daughter is a fun and exciting portal fantasy adventure. If you like stories about Faeries, you will like this book.
Find Fiona Skye and her books here: