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Author: Yolen, Jane
[Bk. I] Snail, a midwife's apprentice in the Unseelie Court, meets Prince Aspen, a Seelie prince being held as a hostage in order to prevent a war. In thinking that they are stopping the war, they instead trigger one.
Seelie Wars, Bk. 1
|Accelerated Reader Information:|
Interest Level: MG
Reading Level: 5.70
Points: 8.0 Quiz: 158600
|Reading Counts Information:|
Interest Level: 3-5
Reading Level: 5.50
Points: 14.0 Quiz: 60799
Kirkus Reviews (05/01/13)
School Library Journal (07/01/13)
The Bulletin of the Center for Children's Books (09/13)
Full Text Reviews:
School Library Journal - 07/01/2013 Gr 4–8—This fantasy features third-person narration from alternating points of view and an interesting bunch of magical creatures. Aspen is a "Seelie" prince held hostage in the volatile "Unseelie" Court as part of an uneasy truce between the two kingdoms. When he learns that war has been declared, he flees the castle, joining forces with Snail, a midwife's accident-prone apprentice. Their escape takes them through dungeons, caves, and Astaeri Palace, which are all described with just enough details to capture the magical atmosphere. The most exciting moments involve encounters with an ogre interrogator; the river-dwelling mer; and a hungry, pregnant troll. The enigmatic Sticksman who ferries the heroes to safety and a crafty drow who misleads the prince to further his own villainous scheme are also intriguing secondary characters. Aspen and Snail are refreshingly atypical heroes: Snail's prickly personality gets her into as much trouble as her clumsiness, and Aspen is neither brave nor clever. Nonetheless, they are quite likable, and both gain strength and self-confidence as their adventure progresses and they learn to trust each other. The final chapters, which include a fairly uninvolving imprisonment and escape, slow down in pace, but they also set the stage neatly for the next book in the series, leaving plenty more to learn about the Seelie/Unseelie conflict and the intriguing relationship between the prince and the apprentice.—Steven Engelfried, Wilsonville Public Library, OR - Copyright 2013 Publishers Weekly, Library Journal and/or School Library Journal used with permission.
Bulletin for the Center... - 09/01/2013 The long-simmering war between the Unseelie and the Seelie fey has been kept at bay since the exchange of young princes between the royal families seven years ago. Prince Aspen, a Seelie, has never quite taken to the messy chaos of the Unseelie court, and when his only confidante informs him that war has finally been declared-in spite of the hostage princes-Aspen decides to flee before he is killed. Meanwhile, Snail, a midwife’s apprentice, accidentally angers the queen and finds herself on route to the dungeons, where she discovers Aspen mid-escape, saving his life from an angry ogre and joining him in his flight. The two journey across an ever-shifting no-man’s land to reach the Seelie court, only to discover that Aspen’s father refuses to protect the prince. The exposition and set up of the book’s first half is helped along by the dual focus on Snail and Aspen’s differing experiences in the Unseelie world, setting a steady pace until the action really gets going as the pair escape toothy mermaids, hungry (and pregnant) trolls, and bounty hunters. Brassy and smart, Snail is far more likable than the mostly whiny Aspen, and her perspective allows readers to understand that there is nothing particularly noble about this war-it is a petty skirmish between royal families that will likely end up hurting people like Snail without ever really affecting the actual courts. What begins as a typical fantasy quest therefore actually turns out to be a rather thoughtful look at conflict, loyalty, and courage, and the discussion sparked here will hopefully continue with the proposed sequels. KQG - Copyright 2013 The Board of Trustees of the University of Illinois.