Anderson, R.J. (2010). Wayfarer. New York: HarperTeen
Appetizer: Set almost 15 years after the events of Faery Rebels: Spell Hunter, Wayfarer takes up the story of Linden, who is a mere baby-faery during the events of the previous book.
Unlike its predecessor, this book switches points of view to share the story of Timothy, a distant relative of the guardians of the Oak faeries. Suspended from boarding school for hitting another student, Timothy is originally from Uganda and is struggling with his faith and being in England. When he arrives at his cousin's home to serve out his suspension, he's quickly drawn into the Oak faeries' struggle to survive.
All is still far from perfect in the oak tree where the faeries reside. They still lack their magic and now their queen, the only faery who is still powerful, is dying. It falls to Linden, who soon draws in Timothy, to find other faeries to help restore the Oak's magic. Linden wasn't counting on the fact that some of the faeries have very different views on how to use their magic and how to treat humans. Their search will take them to London and on to Wales.
As Linden and Timothy travel, they bicker and get on one another's nerves. I thought that was a very nice touch...very authentic to the experience of going on a long journey (or taking a walk, with a friend or two of mine).
I have to say though, overall, I enjoyed Faery Rebels a little more than this book. Wayfarer still builds to the tension, has dynamic characters, inventive worlds and addresses issues of belief, but it didn't have my favorite character, Knife, front and center and kicking butt. (She's more off to the side and kicking butt in this book.) I also preferred seeing Paul coming to terms with having to live in a wheelchair than Timothy trying to suss out his religious faith in light of having doubts due to studying science at his boarding school. But those are just my preferences.
I will, of course, look forward to the third book in the series which I'm guessing will be published at some point, since some of the overarching conflicts of the book are still unresolved at the end.
"The Queen is dying.
The knowledge sat in Linden's belly like a cold stone as she hunched over the tub of greasy water, scrubbing her thirty-ninth plate. She'd promised Mallow, the Chief Cook, that she'd wash all the Oakenfolk's dishes in exchange for a second piece of honey cake at dinner, and at the time it had seemed a reasonable bargain. But now that she knew what was happening at the top of the Spiral Stair--that the faery Queen was lying pale and weak upon her bed and might never rise from it again--she wanted to heave up all the cake she'd eaten and throw the last few dishes straight back in the Chief Cook's face" (p. 1).
"It is time you learned what your task must be, and how carefully we have prepared you for just such a time as this. For you are our people's greatest hope--perhaps our only hope."
A tremor ran through Linden as she realized that she was about to receive her life's occupation at last. But the Oakenfolk's greatest hope...What could Her Majesty possibly mean?" (pp. 6-7).
"Though the idea of going out into the world alone made cold worms crawl beneath her skin, neither could she bear to think of sitting idle while her people were in danger" (p. 13).
"Maybe we are renegades, as you say, but at least we know enough to care about something besides ourselves. At least we still remember that we belong to the Great Gardener, and not to some Empress who goes around putting people to death at the flick of a wing!" (p. 97).
Tasty Rating: !!!
To learn more about R.J. Anderson or Wayfarer, check back over the next few days or visit some of the other blogs on the tour:
Whispers of Dawn, The Book Cellar, The Hungry Readers, My Own Little Corner of the World, KidzBookBuzz.com, Reading is My Superpower, Book Crumbs, Becky’s Book Reviews, Fireside Musings, A Christian Worldview of Fiction, Homeschool Book Buzz, Homespun Light, Book Review Maniac