When the ancient evil of the Blackbringer rises to unmake the world, only one determined faerie stands in its way. However, Magpie Windwitch, granddaughter of the West Wind, is not like other faeries. While her kind live in seclusion deep in the forests of Dreamdark, she's devoted her life to tracking down and recapturing devils escaped from their ancient bottles, just as her hero, the legendary Bellatrix, did 25,000 years ago. With her faithful gang of crows, she travels the world fighting where others would choose to flee. But when a devil escapes from a bottle sealed by the ancient Djinn King himself- the creator of the world- she may be in over her head. How can a single faerie, even with the help of her friends, hope to defeat the impenetrable darkness of the Blackbringer?
At a time when fantasy readers have an embarrassment of riches in choosing new worlds to fall in love with, this first novel by a fresh, original voice is sure to stand out.
In Taylor's debut fantasy, humans are unknowingly releasing demons into the world demons trapped in bottles 25,000 years ago by armies of faeries. Young faerie Magpie Windwitch, whose grandfather is the West Wind and whose role in the emerging conflict seems ominously important, works to put those demons back into the bottles that held them for so long. It's a tough job, especially since the seven Djinn that created the world and all of its creatures (except, of course, humans) went into hiding 4,000 years ago. A particularly nasty demon, the Blackbringer, seems determined to attack Dreamdark, the place the world was created; Magpie and her faithful band of crows head there to warn the sleeping Djinn, Magruwen, that one of his fellow immortals has already been killed by the Blackbringer. But Magruwen has grown weary of the world; in a perfectly rendered scene, Magpie has to reason with an idle god and convince him that the world is worth saving. "Sure the past can't be undone, but it can be forgiven.... How much finer will it be to build a new age on forgiveness than on anguish?" There's a hint of darkness to Taylor's setting, which belies its origin (she originally conceived her creatures for a line of faerie-themed greeting cards and ornaments). It's a fresh take on a well-worn milieu, and the author's knack for faerie dialogue, replete with its own interjections, clich s and turns of phrase, makes for engaging escapism. Ages 10-up.