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Faery Rebels: Spell Hunter Hardcover – Bargain Price, April 28, 2009

42 customer reviews

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Hardcover, Bargain Price, April 28, 2009
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Editorial Reviews

From School Library Journal

Grade 5–7—The faery world is crumbling. During a disaster called the Sundering, these small, fragile, winged creatures lost all of their magic save that which allows them to fly, and they live inside a great oak tree, fearful of people and animals. True friendship and love are foreign to them. Worse, they are falling victim to a kind of dementia they call the Silence, and are dying. Into this picture comes Knife: tough, brave, adventurous, and soon taking on the job of Queen's Hunter. While defending herself against an attacking crow, she is rescued and taken home by a human. Knife becomes convinced that the mystery of their lost magic and the dementia are connected to the faeries' fear of humans and becomes committed to saving her community. The heart of the book lies in the relationship that develops between Knife and the human Paul, who is a paraplegic. Anderson draws on echoes from countless fairy tales and legends about the relationships between human men and faerie women to enrich this gripping and involving story. While the main characters are vividly drawn, some of the secondary characters and background story are sketched more hastily. Though the book looks like it's for a younger audience, middle-school readers who are willing to stay with the story through its first third will find ample rewards as the relationship between Knife and Paul evolves.—Sue Giffard, Ethical Culture Fieldston School, New York City
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"A gripping and involving story." (School Library Journal )

"A highly readable, sophisticated tale of romance and self-sacrifice. Readers will hope for more from this talented new author." (ALA Booklist )

"Anderson crafts lore-true characters in our modern world. I was overjoyed to find this gem." (Melissa Marr, New York Times bestselling author of WICKED LOVELY )

"Anderson creates a fascinating world. This compelling story is full of adventure and mystery." (Voice of Youth Advocates (VOYA) )

"Anderson is a gifted writer with a sure touch for both characterization and plot, and Knife is an absolutely fantastic protagonist - fiercely independent and curious. This book is a page-turning romp." (Romantic Times )

"FAERY REBELS: SPELL HUNTER has the charm of Mary Norton's THE BORROWERS and the edge of Holly Black's TITHE." (Megan Whalen Turner, author of the Newbery Honor Book THE THIEF )

"Knife is just my kind of heroine-strong and independent, with a huge helping of curiosity to get her into trouble, and the bravery and intelligence to get out of trouble again and again." (Patricia C. Wrede, author of the Enchanted Forest Chronicles )

"Pure pleasure.... A particularly charming, well-drawn romantic thriller. Highly Recommended." (The Times (London) )

"Readers will be racing through the pages right along with Knife to discover the fate of her world and her love." (Bulletin of the Center for Children's Books )

"This is the best kind of fantasy: a book that makes faeries wonderfully real and maybe even living in our own backyards." (Sarah Prineas, author of THE MAGIC THIEF )

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Product Details

  • Series: Faery Rebels
  • Hardcover: 336 pages
  • Publisher: HarperCollins (May 1, 2009)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 006155474X
  • ASIN: B003B652BW
  • Product Dimensions: 5.5 x 1.1 x 8.2 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 15.2 ounces
  • Average Customer Review: 4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (42 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #4,053,949 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

R. J. (Rebecca) Anderson isn't trying to hide that she's female, she just thinks her initials look more writerly. The daughter of a preacher who read Tolkien and Lewis aloud to his children, she grew up daydreaming about Narnia and Middle-Earth, watching DOCTOR WHO from behind the sofa, and hanging out in her brothers' comic book shop. Now she writes novels about knife-wielding faeries, weird science, and the numinous in the modern world.

Her debut novel KNIFE (originally published in the US as FAERY REBELS: SPELL HUNTER) was longlisted for the Carnegie Award in 2009 and became a UK bestseller; it and its sequels REBEL and ARROW are now being re-released in US paperback and e-book by Enclave Publishing. Her teen thriller ULTRAVIOLET (2011) was shortlisted for the 2012 Andre Norton (Nebula) award and the Sunburst Award for Canadian SF, and was followed by a companion novel, QUICKSILVER (2013). Her next new release is a magical mystery-adventure called A POCKET FULL OF MURDER (Atheneum, September 2015)

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

22 of 23 people found the following review helpful By Jackson Pearce on May 24, 2009
Format: Hardcover
Length: 1:44 Mins
My first book comes out August 25, 2009! Check it out: As You Wish
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful By Tez Miller on April 28, 2009
Format: Hardcover
The faery Queen's Hunter fights for the best of both species, faery and human, in R. J. Anderson's SPELL HUNTER (also published as KNIFE).

Go Outside, kill animals, and bring them back to the Oakenwyld to be used as food and fur blankets. But ever since Knife saw a human for the first time, she's wanted to know more. Injured in battle, Knife is nursed back to health by Paul McCormick, a human who's also benefiting from Knife's company.

If the faeries knew more about humans, their ideas and technology, maybe the Oakenfolk wouldn't be dying out. But the Queen forbids them to make contact with humans, and Knife investigates why, with the help of some secret diaries, faery allies...and Paul.

This novel charmed the pants off me, quite surprising as I'm usually not keen on faeries and/or magic in my reading. Though rather chaste, the novel's references to suicide and drug overdose may not be suitable for some children, but for older readers they provide a refreshingly mature - and realistic - viewpoint.

The friendship between Knife and Paul, how they help each other's creativity and deal with their worlds (both separate and together), is a key point, and might break through your emotional barrier as it did mine.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By Mary Kate on August 24, 2009
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
My rating is 2.5 stars.

*Caution: This review mentions a few plot points that some will consider spoilery.*

Faery Rebels - Spellhunter introduces us to a small group of faeries living in a tree in the human populated countryside. The faeries, all of whom are female, almost never leave their tree, have little to no magic and, in a very unfaerylike manner, seem to have no natural harmony with nature. Long ago, the mysterious "Sundering" took their magic from them. They exist now with little kindness or affection between them and no creativity. They do not know if other faeries still exist in the world and, at first glance, do not appear to be trying to find out.

One of the youngest among them is Bryony, a curious child who grows into a brave young woman and is chosen to be the Queen's hunter. When she is so appointed by Queen Amaryllis, who rules the group, Bryony takes the name Knife.

Just outside the large oak tree that contains this dying colony is a human house where a couple live with their son, Paul. Knife and Paul had a brief near-encounter when they were very young. They have not seen each other since, but shortly after Paul is paralyzed in an accident, they meet up - and officially meet - again. Paul has come home to recuperate - or not. He is bitter, is taking things out on his parents and is not much interested in living.

I was about half way through Faery Rebels - Spellhunter before I began to find it somewhat interesting. Anderson has crafted a rather unique take on faeries and their place in the world. Unfortunately, it turns out her take isn't one I'm much interested in learning more about. I didn't like their depressing existence, their glumness or how they were ruled.
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5 of 6 people found the following review helpful By Angela Thompson VINE VOICE on June 19, 2009
Format: Hardcover
I don't generally read many middle grade novels, but I had read several lovely reviews of FAERY REBELS: SPELL HUNTER--a debut middle grade fantasy novel by R.J. Anderson--and then was lucky enough to receive a copy from the lovely Ms. Anderson herself. Interestingly enough, the same book has been published in the UK under the title KNIFE, with dramatically different cover art. The changes in title and artwork make it clear they're marketing it to a slightly older young adult audience over the pond, while the U.S. cover and series-friendly title are distinctly more middle grade. As a result, I wasn't sure what to expect going in--a state I honestly quite like being in when starting a new book by a new author.

Bryony is a faery who has spent her short life longing to leave the Oak tree that forms the boundary of her people's world. The only faeries allowed out in the wild at all are the Gatherers who are sent out to forage for food and the Queen's own hunter--a faery trained to hunt and protect the Oakenfolk and the fragile existence they have carved out for themselves. When she is summoned before the Queen, Bryony is stunned and elated to hear she is to be the new assistant to the Queen's hunter. Proving herself extraordinarly skilled, she changes her name to Knife and determines she will not only protect and provide for her people but discover why they are slowly dying out, unearth their mysterious and forbidden connection with humans, and discover why she is drawn to the stone House on the hill and to the unhappy boy named Paul who lives there.

What makes this story unique is the world R.J. Anderson has created. These faeries are unusual in several ways. They are tiny, much smaller than humans, and are therefore constantly in danger outside of the Oak.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By mary on May 5, 2009
Format: Hardcover
Here's the review I posted on our library's teenspace. It is as spoiler-free as I could make it - wish I could give 4 1/2 stars; this book is better than 4 stars, but not quite perfect.

The library's copy of R.J. Anderson's "Spell Hunter: Faery Rebels" just came in, and I grabbed it at once. Will you like this book?

I am going to give it to my 9th grade girls to review, but here are some brief hints. The book includes these very excellent things:
1. Dangerous quests, and scary fights with enemies.
2. A major mystery to be solved - and two teens from different worlds working together to solve it, along with some unexpected allies.
3. Friends inspiring one another to creativity and love.
4. A gentle, but also gripping, romance. I loved the romance!

More to follow, but, if you like any of those things, you should really read this book. As a fan of crows and maps, I did have a few minor quibbles. They are really *very* minor.
1. I like crows. They are highly intelligent and social animals. Those who have read the book will know what I mean. If you haven't read it, I hope this comment intrigues you.
2. I wasn't entirely convinced by the economy of Knife's world. On the plus side, I believed in all the characters in that world, and liked most of them.
3. Point two leads to point three - maps, please! Especially of the Oak! Tolkien spoiled me from an early age; I just adore maps in a story like this one.

If any librarians are reading this, I'd urge you to ignore the Kirkus review, which is extremely politically correct and misses the point of this story in a couple of major ways. (And I say this as a liberal feminist.) If I were reviewing this book for VOYA, I'd give it 4Q, 4 or 5P, and suggest it for almost all libraries.
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