The Fairy King by Laura Gilfillan
Genre: Paranormal, Sci-Fi/Fantasy
Length: Full Length (260 pgs)
Age Recommendation: 12+
Rating: 3 Stars
Review by: Myrtle
Elora is so gentle and kind that she has attracted the attention of the fairy king. Like it or not, she is about to find out that all those stories about fairies and magic that she thought were only make-believe, are something she should believe after all. Because now that she has caught the attention of the fairy king, he is about to turn her world upside down.
It seems almost magical to see a flower bloom mid-winter, but in Elora’s garden a touch of magic is just the tip of the iceberg.
Elora’s backyard garden grows wonderful things, mostly vegetables at this time of year. She is attentive to every plant’s need and considers the “pests” not pests at all. Even tomato munching caterpillars find themselves plucked from the stems and deposited elsewhere. Elora values all life and seems to have a special understanding and respect for all non-human creatures. But fairies, elves, and unicorns were not on her list of known species!
While working in her garden one day, Elora is kidnapped by two cloaked beings with gravelly, raspy voices. Before she can escape, the two shrink her to the size of an ant and then stuff her into an ant tunnel. She pleads with them to let her go, but they say this wonderful adventure is courtesy of King Jerad, the Fairy King.
Accepted by the ants as a welcome guest, Elora is allowed to explore the ant’s way of life, but all she wants is to go home. On mating day, Elora finds her way out. Soon thereafter, the Fairy King’s “goons” show up again and drag her off to a nearby stream. They shrink her and then fling her into the water saying, “She’s going to have a great time.” But Elora does not have a great time. (The reader isn’t privy to which web-footed creature she has become, but she is not a frog and she is not a fish — Hmmm….) No matter how many times Elora begs to be left alone, King Jerad just keeps giving her the “gift” of experiencing the animal kingdom.
In the beginning, the reader knows little about Elora. Her age is not given, nor her appearance, except to know she has “short brown curls.” By the tone of the story, I first believed Elora to be about six or seven-years-old. Example from page 23: “Please don’t cry, Elora my sweet.” Elora swallowed. His sweet? Was he planning to eat her or something? It wasn’t until much later (the first hint is given on page 87, but her actual age isn’t revealed until page 132) that the reader finds out Elora is seventeen.
A love story, creepy by Elora’s own definition, ensues. The story leads the reader to believe that the “dark” fairy, King Jerad, must surely be evil, yet he is so nice to Elora! She, however, comes off as rude and ungrateful. The reader wants to believe in Elora and in the writer’s descriptive lead (dark fairy and his goons) but everything about him seems good, albeit a bit misguided. Soon, a battle between Lord Arial (the Lord of Light) and King Jerad (the King of Darkness) develops and Elora finds herself right in the middle.
In Elora’s normal world, she has a mother, brother, best friend, and a missing father. Without spoiling the story let us suffice to say that the two worlds come together, sometimes overlapping during the tale.
Although a huge creative writing endeavor, this story lacked valuable description and suffered mediocre execution. The story would have benefited from a good editor, too, who might have caught several misspelled words and corrected improper punctuation. If polished and properly edited, this would have been a delightful story.
If you enjoy stories about fairies and elves, or love Mother Nature in all her glory, then this might be a story for you!