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Bones of Faerie: Book 1 (The Bones of Faerie Trilogy) Hardcover – January 27, 2009

4.1 out of 5 stars 74 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

It has been 20 years since the war between faeries and humans destroyed everything. Liza, a teenager living in what was once the Midwest, has always been taught that magic kills. When Lizas mother gives birth to a faerie baby with hair clear as glass, her father abandons the infant on a hillside to die; Lizas mother then runs away, and Liza begins to have magical visions of her own. Petrified that her powers might cause death, Liza flees into the woods with her friend Matthew, only to be attacked by deadly trees and rescued by a woman with magic. The plot quickens as Liza realizes that the woman is connected to her mothers past, knowledge that propels Liza into a dangerous journey into the land of Faerie, in search of her mother. Debut novelist Simners style is poetic (A land of steel and glass, of towers and sharp angles. A sky the color of dried blood), but she only vaguely describes Lizas world. Its hard to understand how, for example, a faerie differs from humans with magical powers, or what triggered the cataclysmic faerie war. Despite the murkiness, the plotting is strong, and readers will want to stay with Liza until her questions are resolved. Ages 12–16. (Jan.)
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From Booklist

Simner’s first novel for YAs is an attention-catching twist of two piping-hot speculative scenarios—a postapocalyptic-wasteland journey layered upon a faerie-world-intruding-upon-our-own setup. A war between our world and a faerie world has left the planet a ruined and perilous wilderness. People huddle in the remains of towns, afraid to venture out at night, and swiftly put to death any child suspected of having been infected by the faerie fallout. When Liza discovers that she may have magical abilities, she flees town, and eventually seeks out answers in the equally ruined faerie realm. Simner’s world-building leans heavily on atmospherics in lieu of specifics, and the foggy descriptions of magic are even tougher to get a handle on. But the mood is strikingly dark, and questions regarding humankind’s tendency toward suspicion and xenophobia will loom large in readers’ minds. Much information is frustratingly withheld from both Liza and the reader, and many questions are left unanswered, but this will still garner a share of fans for its unusual and unsettling vision of a magically dystopian future. Grades 7-10. --Ian Chipman
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Product Details

  • Age Range: 12 and up
  • Grade Level: 7 and up
  • Lexile Measure: 670L (What's this?)
  • Series: The Bones of Faerie Trilogy
  • Hardcover: 256 pages
  • Publisher: Random House Books for Young Readers; First Edition edition (January 27, 2009)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0375845631
  • ISBN-13: 978-0375845635
  • Product Dimensions: 5.8 x 0.9 x 8.6 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 12.6 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.1 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (74 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,785,722 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

By HHK VINE VOICE on February 3, 2009
Format: Hardcover
Wow, this was a very imaginative and well written book. The trend towards faeries in YA books is nothing new. This book however takes a totally fresh spin on the subject.

The heroine is plucky,determined and brave. She suffers the loss of her Mother and sister, and physical abuse at the hands of her Father. Despite this she is not bowed down. I love her!

The setting is a post-apocalyptic world in which small towns survive in isolation, afraid of faeries and magic. This is result of the war between Faerie and humankind. Both sides have been devastated.

For romance lovers, there is a subtle romantic interest woven through. I don't want to give away anymore of the plot- buy the book yourselves, and enjoy!

All in all, a wonderful read both for YA and not so YA.
I hope there is a sequel.
If you are a fan of Melissa Marr and Holly Black, you will love this book.
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Format: Hardcover
Overall, this book was a great story filled with adventure and the price we're all willing to pay to survive. The writing at times got irritating due to its repetitive nature. For example, on one single page I read:
"and I looked in the mirror and saw--"
"I screamed, and I screamed I saw--"
"I fled from him, and as I fled I saw--"
I shut my eyes, and behind closed lids I saw--"
This sort of pre-vision dialogue certainly became noticeable and therefore irritating, and distracting. The imagery throughout the book is well written and familiar. For example I loved, "Oak and maples and elms all reached toward the rain, sighing happily as water soaked through their leaves and into their roots."

The plot moved, though sometimes slow. The beginning started off right, fact-paced and exciting, the middle, during the journey outside, it all became slower. The end, again, picks up leaving you on the edge of your seat and rooting for the characters. Throughout the whole book you feel for Liza and you keep hoping she finds what she is looking for, physically and emotionally.

The characters, all, are well defined and concrete though, not to say that they are perfect. I am left at the end wanting to learn more about Tara, Caleb,Kate and Matthew's history. I feel like I still don't know enough about them. For the story itself--good enough. For me and my overzealous imagination--I wanted to know everything.

Liza is sucha strong character, so kind and caring and passionate.But above all else she is majorly self-sacrificing, which is a wonderful point for young girls to take away from the book. Allie, the young, sweet healer, is a reliable friend and a deeply caring individual filled with unconditional love. Yet, she's smart and knows her limits.
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Format: Hardcover
Reading the first sentence, I felt a frisson, and knew I was reading something special. Janni Lee Simner has created a truly haunting world, our own, but devastated after a war between humans and faeries. For the children growing up post war, including the teenage narrator, its causes are mysterious, but like any war, its aftereffects still resonate and burn.

Some things I really liked about this book were the relationships between characters, and understanding why certain characters became the way they are, without condoning what they do. I'd tell more, but that would be spoilery.

There is a mystery to solve, magic to discern, and a world to set right. Luckily, there will be a sequel, because it's too much to do all in one book!
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Bones of Faerie is a hauntingly, beautifully written book that combines dystopian and fantasy genres in a gripping, spooky, good vs. evil story. The war between humans and faeries is over, but the world has changed dramatically and negatively. Technology is gone. Trees and flowers can have deadly powers. Sinister shadows lurk, ready to strike. Fear and distrust of magic and faeries remain as legacies of the deadly battles. Any human suspected of having even slight faerie qualities, like clear hair color, can be banned or executed. When Liza starts having visions of the future, she flees before anyone finds out, or worse, her magic brings disaster to her town. Liza's journey changes her. She learns that history is tainted by being only one perspective, there are several sides to every accounting of events. Matt, her companion on her journey, shows her that her abilities are not inherently evil. It is how she chooses to use them. She also learns that she is not alone, there are many like her. Liza decides to enter the faerie world. Although the story drags in parts, and the ending is predictable, there is enough action, and there are enough interesting characters, to hold the interest of reluctant readers. Fantasy lovers and dystopian lovers will eagerly move on to the sequels.
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I have heard wonderful things about Bones of Faerie, so I decided to pick it up. I didn't realize, however, that it takes place in a post-apocalyptic world. This makes Bones of Faerie completely different from other faerie stories on the market today. Even though I was a bit disappointed that I wasn't transported into a beautiful, magical realm, the story itself was still good and I think we will get to see more of Faerie in future novels.

Even though I liked the characters in Bones of Faerie (particularly Allie), I am not strongly attached to them yet. I wouldn't describe Liza as a kick-ass heroine, even though she is brave. There is just something missing, which would take her from likable to lovable. Since there is quite a bit of history between some of the older characters, I expect that the more time I spend with everyone, the more I will love them. Bones of Faerie is a pretty short read, so it is hard to get to know the characters as well as I'd might like to.

My favorite part of the novel was defiantly the plot! I like dystopians and I love faerie stories. I am typically hesitant with post-apocalyptic novels, but a post-apocalyptic world wrapped in magic worked really well for me. Part of the draw is that different areas of the world live very differently when it comes to magic. Seeing the rest of the world with Liza was great for the reader because it was new to both of us. I like learning with my characters, rather than having to figure out things they already know since authors sometimes do not explain these things.

Bones of Faerie is nothing if not unique. I have never seen dystopian and fantasy blended together in such a beautiful manner. While the characters are good, it is the plot that makes the story stand out. I am still hoping to see a really cool faerie world and hope that this will happen in future novels.
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