Swift by R J Anderson

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Swift by R J Anderson

Category: Teens
Rating: 4/5
Reviewer: Jill Murphy
Reviewed by Jill Murphy
Summary: New sequence from the author of the very popular Knife series. It's just as imaginative and well thought through and fans of Anderson are going to love it.
Buy? Yes Borrow? Yes
Pages: 368 Date: March 2012
Publisher: Orchard
External links: Author's website
ISBN: 1408312638

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Ivy lives in an abandoned Cornish tin mine with the rest of her piskie clan. The piskies live in fear of kidnapping spriggans and so it's a closed life, with the females of the clan rarely going above ground. It's just too dangerous. This weighs heavily on Ivy, who has an independent spirit and sense of wanderlust. And Ivy has other sadnesses: her mother disappeared years ago, taken by spriggans, and she was born without wings so cannot fly like the others.

So when Ivy meets Richard and he offers answers to all these things, Ivy cannot resist him. She'll risk everything by helping him and she'll also discover there are more secrets in her world than she had ever imagined. And even more danger...

Ooh! Hooray! A new sequence from RJ Anderson! I do love her books. There are no vampires or werewolves mingling with her faeries. No sorcerers. No looming industrial backdrops. No Victorian settings or steampunkery. Nup. She writes modern but traditional stories in which the fae folk live in oak trees or abandoned mines, are tiny, and mostly distrust humankind, just as they are supposed to. But her books don't feel old-fashioned and readers can enjoy the subtle nods to the classics of the genre - Narnia, Tolkein and the rest. In Swift, we find a new fae folk, the piskies, and a new heroine to follow in the courageous, independent and shape-shifting Ivy. It's the same fantasy world though, so expect some references to characters and events we already know.

A common theme and source of conflict for Anderson is the power wielded by the leaders in her matriarchal societies. Her protagonists are young and kick relentlessly against the repressive and authoritarian Queens and Joans. In Swift, Ivy is pitted against several foes, but the most remorseless is Betony, the head of her own community. Anderson is also interested in changelings and in Swift, she looks at this in an original way that readers are unlikely to have come across before. Not all changelings are half-fae, half-human, dontchaknow.

The Knife sequence has proved tremendously popular, and I think Swift will garner Anderson even more fans. Recommended to all readers who love a well-written, traditional fairy story that doesn't need any of those new-fangled bells and whistles to entertain, but manages all on its own merits.

Bookbag also recommends Ice Maiden by Sally Prue, a fabulous prequel to the award-winning Cold Tom. Prue's fairy/elf Tribe are cold-hearted beings but searingly beautiful when compared to lumpen demons/humans, and Wings by Aprilynne Pike, an enjoyable piece of urban faerie fiction with many of the usual tropes, a love triangle, and some very nasty trolls.

Buy Swift by R J Anderson at Amazon You can read more book reviews or buy Swift by R J Anderson at Amazon.co.uk.


Buy Swift by R J Anderson at Amazon You can read more book reviews or buy Swift by R J Anderson at Amazon.com.


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