Tuesday, May 14, 2013

Review and Author Interview: Faerie After by Jannie Lee Simner

Faerie After by Jannie Lee Simner
May 28, 2013
Publisher: Random House
Pages: 272
 Recevied: ARC for honest review
Order Now: Amazon | Book Depository

Once, magic destroyed the world

ow it's all that's left to save us

After a devastating war between humanity and Faerie, Liza's world was forever changed. Plants and trees became aggressive, seeking to root in living flesh and bone, and newborn children were discovered to have magical powers. Liza was one of these children, and with her abilities she brought her mother back from the ruined Faerie realm and restored the seasons to her own.

Now there are signs of a new sickness in the forest. Piles of ash are found where living creatures once stood. Liza investigates and discovers that the Faerie realm has continued to deteriorate, slowly turning to dust, and that its fate is inexorably linked to that of the human realm. To find a solution, Liza must risk crossing over, putting herself and all she cares about at risk. Will Liza be forced to sacrifice her life and the lives of her friends in order to save both worlds? 

I absolutely loved returning to Liza’s world. I’ve been dying to see what happens to both the human and fae worlds in this trilogy. Liza is still as strong of a character as ever, fighting for what is right, pushing the limits and always looking out for those around her. I find that Liza learns quite a lot in this book. She begins to truly understand her friends, what the destruction around her really means and that perhaps that sometimes fate shouldn’t be messed with.

There is still that sense of love all around, whether it be romantic love or familial love. It surrounds them all and sometimes I think that is what keeps them all going through these tough times.

I would have to say the character who I grew to love even more in this book was Allie. She came into her own in this story and I loved watching her character evolve. She truly knows what she wants and accepts things for what they are. In some ways I think she might even be more mature than Liza. Her story had my heart breaking at one point and smiling with happiness at others.

The entire world building in this last book is amazing. You can actually feel the destruction like it’s happening around you. You are always wondering if things will be okay, if Liza and her crew will figure out how to make things right and if they do – will anything be like was once before? Can they go back to the way things were or has everything changed too much? Is it for the better?

I was sad to see this series come to an end, but the way in which Janni wrote it is almost bittersweet. Loss and pain, happiness and new beginnings – this story has it all.

One last comment – TOBY/TOLVEN! I loved his character too.

What was it like writing the third book in the trilogy, knowing that this was the end of the series?

Liza, the protagonist of the Bones of Faerie trilogy, has been with me for decades, ever the long-ago day I heard her voice in her head, whispering, "I had a sister once." I listened to that voice, and wrote what would become the opening of the first book of the trilogy, though it was years before I finished that book and started the sequels.

So I was pretty sad about letting her go!

It might not be coincidence that in the final book of the trilogy, Faerie After, Liza also struggles--from a magical perspective--with when to hold on and when to let go.

Did you have the entire series mapped out in your mind, knowing what was going to happen and how it would all end eventually?

I didn't even know what was going to happen at the end of the first book! I had an opening scene that haunted me, and I had the idea of a war with the Faerie realm, but that was it. I'm very much a "discovering" rather than "planning" sort of writer: it was by writing the Bones of Faerie books that I found out what happened. For me, that's part of the fun! (I then revise, of course, to make what I find as strong as I possibly can. It's not all about the discovery--but that is where much of my stories' energy comes from.)

Out of all the characters that came to life in the Bones of Faerie trilogy, do you have a favourite? And why?

I feel incredibly close to Liza, because we've spent so much time together (and struggled through so much together) as I told her story. Liza's incredibly strong, stronger than I am, and I admire her character so much.

Yet deep down I have a soft spot for Allie, the young healer Liza meets in the first book and who follows her through much the trilogy. I love Allie's voice, and how she's funny yet serious, and how she's filled with a sort of lightness--but also a fierce determination--in the face of all the darkness around her.

In Faerie After, the final Bones of Faerie book, Allie stops following Liza and really comes into her own.

If you could have one magical ability and still be human like Liza, Matthew or Allie, which one would you want to have?

Every time I ask myself this question, I come up with a different answer! This week I think maybe I'd like to be an animal speaker, like Kyle, or able to call up the wind like Hope. But ask me tomorrow and I'll probably say something else.

Maybe it's because I can't make up my mind that my magic's never found me? :-)

If you could pick five books and five things to have with you while stranded on a deserted island, what would you pick?

The Blue Sword (Robin McKinley)
The Arm of the Starfish (Madeleine L'Engle)
The Complete Works of Shakespeare
The Sagas of the Icelanders
Shipbuilding for Beginners

Ebook reader (for the couple thousand books that wouldn't fit above)
Solar charger
Waterproof notebook and pens
Sunhat and sunscreen
Short-wave radio with a really excellent range

Tell us a little about your current work in progress, any more visits to the realm of faerie?

I'm actually taking a break from the fey to write something closer to home: a book about endangered raven shapeshifters on a wilderness reserve in the desert Southwest. (Okay, so there are no raven shapeshifters where I live. But there are ravens and it is the desert.) Once again, I've been following the story and seeing where it leads. It's fascinating and compelling to write in a world so different from Liza's, yet with so many dangers of its own.
THANK YOU JANNI! I always love having you stop by the blog.

One lucky winner will win a pre-order of Faerie After by Janni Lee Simner.
Book will be shipped via The Book Depository, so it’s open INT as long as BD can ship to your country.

Janni Lee Simner lives in the Arizona desert, where the plants know how to bite and the dandelions really do have thorns; in spite of these things--or maybe because of them--she's convinced she lives in one of the most stunning places on earth.

Janni has published three novels for young adults, Bones of Faerie, sequel Faerie Winter, and Thief Eyes. A third Bones of Faerie book, Faerie After, is due out in May 2013.

She's also published four books for younger readers, as well as more than 30 short stories, including appearances in Cricket magazine and the Welcome to Bordertown anthology.


  1. I've loved reading this series. I'm really interested in seeing how it wraps up. Thank you.


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