Monday, July 20, 2015

The Adventures of Loriel the Wood Fairy - CJ Walery

Summary: Loriel is worried by the lack of communication from her Grandfairy Cyce and makes a journey to her cottage in the Forest of Echoes, to find it empty. Upon arrival she finds Grandfairy Cyce has been kidnapped by a goblin. This part of the story tells how Loriel, Padra (the house mouse) and Anya (the pet hummingbird) all help to save Grandfairy Cyce.

Loriel is frantic with worry because she knows that goblins must be dangerous (not to mention smelly) and she will need to make a plan that does not endanger Grandfairy Cyce.

(Summary from the back cover of the book, pic from

I received a free copy of this book in exchange for my fair and honest review.

My Review: I have to admit I was a bit disappointed by this book. After reading the summary on the back, I was excited. It seemed like something my kids would really like, and I thought the story sounded promising. My kids have to do a certain amount of reading every night for school, and my first grader had run out of library books but still had 20 minutes left to go. I decided to have him read this book, because he’s all about supernatural and fantastical things. Well, he started reading and he didn’t get it. Now, this is not unusual—depending on his hunger, what time it is, how many Lego ships he got to build, and the lunar cycle of the moon aligning with the voodoo calendar, and whether he’s happy or crabby as all get out. So I chocked it up to the latter and figured I’d read Loriel myself later.

Cue later.

Well, I read it. And I was confused. Like I had no idea what was going on a lot of the time. I think that part of this was due to me thinking that it would be written like a continuous story, and it turned out to be smaller adventures, sometimes divided into chapters, sometimes not. Then sometimes there would be a new section with a totally new adventure going on. This was confusing. I think the characters were also confusing and there were a lot of names of elves and other creatures. That was part of my son’s confusion—there were a lot of names and things going on, some relevant to the story and some not, but there were enough of them and he’s young enough that there were too many to keep track of while also trying to follow the confusing story.

Unfortunately, the book wasn’t that well-written either. It reminded me of something a younger writer would write as far as the storytelling style i.e. “this happened and then this happened and then this happened and then this happened.” There’s an art to writing simple, beautiful things, and I think this book was more complicated than it should have been for the audience it was written for, notwithstanding the immature writing style. The type is big enough and the stories short enough that it should be for a younger reader, whereas the complexity and confusing nature of the stories totally lost my younger son. My nine-year-old son wouldn’t read it because it looks like a small, simple chapter book.

While I appreciate the effort it takes to write a book and publish it, it is the nature of the literary world today that there are a lot of really great books for younger readers and unfortunately this book falls a bit short.

My rating: 2 stars

For the sensitive reader: This book is a clean children’s book.

1 comment:

Angela said...

I just found your blog today. I love the quote you have up at the top of the blog!


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