________________ CM . . . . Volume XVII Number 1. . . .September 3, 2010



R.J. Anderson.
New York, NY: Harper Teen (Distributed in Canada by HarperCollins Canada), 2010.
296 pp., pbk., $18.99.
ISBN 978-0-06-155477-3.

Subject Headings:
Interpersonal relations-Fiction.
Conduct of life-Fiction.

Grades 7-10 / Ages 12-15.

Review by Caroline Higgins.

**½ /4

Reviewed from Uncorrected Proof.



Timothy was still so dizzy from the aftereffects of Veronica's spell, it was an effort at first to tell who he was looking at. But gradually his rescuer's features came into focus, and he knew. "Rob!" he exclaimed.

Linden whirled on him. "Rob? This is the musician you were talking about? But he's" Words seemed to fail her as she looked back at the other faery, her gaze traveling up his figure to linger on his broad shoulders and the spare, angular bones of his face. "I don't understand," she faltered.

"I thought you were a friend of Veronica's," said Timothy, unable to keep the accusation from his voice.

Rob seemed unfazed. "Our people make no friends," he said, "only allies and enemies. But for now, I am your ally, and not hers. She won't find you here."

For now. That didn't sound too reassuring to Timothy, especially after the way he'd seen Rob play his guitar back at Sanctuary. What if he'd rescued them from Veronica just to steal Timothy's music for himself?


With little magic left and a dying queen, the lives of the remaining faeries of the Oak are threatened. The impossible quest to restore the magic of the Oakenfolk is placed on the slender shoulders of 15-year-old Linden, the Olkenfolk's smallest and youngest. In a parallel story, readers meet Timothy, the son of missionaries. Raised in Uganda, Timothy is not adjusting well to life at his English boarding school. He is suspended for fighting and sent to stay with his cousin, Paul, and Paul's wife, Peri (aka Knife), in Oakhaven a property with a remarkable oak tree. Soon the lives of Linden and Timothy become entwined, and their mutual survival from the evil Empress depends on Linden's success.

     Wayfarer is R.J. Anderson's second installment chronicling the lives of the faeries of the Oak, though reading the first, Faery Rebels: Spell Hunter, is not required to understand the action contained in Wayfarer. The story begins slowly as Anderson takes care in introducing the internal logic of her faery world within our modern world. However, young female readers will be effortlessly drawn to the sweetness and determination of tiny Linden, and their interest will be sustained by the quick pace of action once the logic of the faery world is established.

      Older teens may resist Wayfarer as plot devices are used to provide easy escapes for Linden and Timothy, escapes which continually foreshadows the inevitable triumph of good over evil. Though some events feel contrived to maintain the story's pace, older fans of supernatural fairy fiction will enjoy Wayfarer's darker elements, including metamorphosing faery assassins, and Anderson has crafted some truly unexpected twists.

      Though Linden and Timothy are teenage protagonists, Anderson does not complicate her story with a cross-species love subplot. Instead, a relationship of trust and understanding develops between the young characters, and both undergo their own journeys of self-discovery. Anderson has written an enchanting and entertaining tale that will charm young readers.


Caroline Higgins is a Community Outreach Librarian for Calgary Public Library's Saddletowne branch opening in 2011.

To comment on this title or this review, send mail to cm@umanitoba.ca.

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