Original Title: Fairy Keeper
Year Published: 2015
Published by: Curiosity Quills Press (an arc was kindly provided via NetGalley)
Number of Pages: 238
First Sentence: “The last drops of fairy nectar clung to the edge of the jar fourteen-year-old Sierra Quinn held, poised aboved the vial containing that day’s harvest.“
Goodreads Rating: 4/5
Forget cute fairies in pretty dresses. In the world of Aluvia, most fairies are more like irritable, moody insects. Almost everyone in the world of Aluvia views the fairy keeper mark as a gift, but not fourteen-year-old Sierra. She hates being a fairy keeper, but the birthmark is right there on the back of her neck. It shows everyone she was born with the natural ability to communicate, attract, and even control the tiny fairies whose nectar is amazingly powerful. Fairy nectar can heal people, but it is also a key ingredient in synthesizing Flight, an illegal elixir that produces dreaminess, apathy and hallucinations. She’s forced to care for a whole hive of the bee-like beasties by her Flight-dealing, dark alchemist father.
Then one day, Sierra discovers the fairies of her hatch are mysteriously dead. The fairy queen is missing. Her father’s Flight operation is halted, and he plans to make up for the lost income by trading her little sister to be an elixir runner for another dark alchemist, a dangerous thug. Desperate to protect her sister, Sierra convinces her father she can retrieve the lost queen and get his operation up and running.
The problem? Sierra’s queen wasn’t the only queen to disappear. They’re all gone, every single one, and getting them back will be deadly dangerous.
Sierra journeys with her best friend and her worst enemy — assigned by her father to dog her every step — to find the missing queens. Along the way, they learn that more than just her sister’s life is at stake if they fail. There are secrets in the Skyclad Mountains where the last wild fairies were seen. The magic Sierra finds there has the power to transform their world, but only if she can first embrace her calling as a fairy keeper.
I did not expect to like this book as much as I did. Why? Because the first chapter had me feeling a bit meh about the rest of it. But from then on it picked up and I only put the book away to sleep. Fantastic little book, with a good twist on magic worlds.
You really do need to rid yourself of your preconceived ideas of fairies. Bearce has made them very much like wasps, they even have the stingers. But they are still creatures of magic and love, and in the end I actually wanted a fairy of my own. Wish is amazing since I’m deadly allergic to wasps and usually the idea of anything like them give me the creeps. Well played Bearce, well played.
Sierra is an interesting main character. She is flawed, but with a good heart. Her childhood has not been easy, growing up with a horrible father and with a gift that she sees as more of a curse. But when her fairy queen disappears she goes on a dangerous search for her. Although her initial reasons for doing so might not be as selfless and good, they become more and more so as the journey goes on. It was nice to get such a good character development in this book since book like this tend to have very static characters. In fact, several of the minor characters have some kind of development in character, which was really nice to see.
I thought this was just going to be a cute little book about fairies, but it turned into so much more. It is about finding yourself, fighting against those who wish to destroy what’s good in the world and the importance of family and friends.
Do I recommend it?
Yes, I do!