Summary - As the Faery Queen's appointed Hunter, Knife alone has the courage and skill to fight the crows and other predators who threaten the Oakenfolk's survival. Yet neither she nor the Queen can do anything to stop a mysterious magical disease from claiming the faeries of the Oak one by one.
But there are humans at the bottom of the garden, and a glimpse inside their House convinces Knife that they have powers and knowledge that could help her people. Still, if the human world has so much to offer, why is the Queen determined to keep the faeries away from it? Is there a connection between the House and the Oakenfolk's loss of magic? And why is Knife so drawn to the young Paul McCormick — that strangest of creatures, a human male?
Knife determines to learn the truth about the Oakenfolk's relationship to humanity, no matter what the Queen might do to prevent her — a quest which threatens the growing friendship between herself and Paul, puts both their lives in jeopardy, and challenges everything Knife has ever believed about humans, faeries, and her own heart's desire. And when at last Knife discovers the secret the Faery Queen has been hiding, she is forced to make an agonizing choice between love and freedom that will change her life, and the lives of her people, forever.
Review - Oh faery, where art thou? Well Knife's whooping it up in the forest and in the McCormick household. She's no ordinary faery, she wants and needs to know more about the outside, humans and the history of her own people. Anderson has created a rich world in Knife (Spell Hunter in the US). Both the faery and human worlds are very separate and very distinct. While there is much fun to be had in the magical aspects of faeries, and their general mythos, it's the relationships that really take hold of the reader. Not just the romatnic relationships either, that of maternal love, leadership and friendship are all explored in both worlds.
Anderson has managed to have two characters question their existence without weighing the concept down with heavy handed parallels. The romance isn't contrived or predictable. It doesn't rely on love at first sight, rather it explores the strength of inter-species friendship and how this can morph into love. I loved the evolution of this pairing and of Knife and Paul's separate arcs as well.
I particularly love the detail provided about faery existence, breeding and storytelling. Information was mixed throughout demonstrating a firm grasp of pacing and intrigue. Much of this tale revolves around self-sacrifice in the name of love and I fell for these characters. I want them to flourish and cannot wait until the second book is released.
Format: Paperback, 327 pages
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