Lately I’ve been reading mostly magazines and graphic novels, so last weekend I decided to read an actual book for a change. The book I chose was Laini Taylor’s Faeries of Dreamdark: Blackbringer. It’s been on my personal reading list for a few years now. I’m not going to lie, I really wasn’t expecting much out of it. I could tell it was written for a younger audience so I was expecting some sort of cutesy story, rather like The Faerie Locket by Susan J. Morris.
I couldn’t have been more wrong! I was blown away by just how good Blackbringer was. And while there were times it was obvious the book was written for a younger audience (mainly through the romance – there was a “love interest” but neither character was old enough to really be in love, so the book just showed the two becoming friends), it was never what I would call “cutesy.”
Blackbringer is the story of Magpie Windwitch, a faerie sprout who hunts demons with her band of crows. Millennia ago, the demons were imprisoned in magical sealed bottles by the djinn king and Magpie’s hero, the faerie champion Bellatrix. No one was supposed to be able to release the demons, but unfortunately the djinn hadn’t anticipated the arrival of humanity (or “mannies” as Magpie says), and so didn’t protect the demon prisons from them. And now that one of the demons granted some wishes upon its release, the mannies are scrambling to find a demon of their own. Of course, none of the other demons have been so accommodating upon release. Magpie’s had no trouble getting the demons back into their prisons, but now the mannies have released the worst of the lot: the Blackbringer. And he’s headed to the faerie home of Dreamdark.
Once I started reading, I wasn’t able to stop; I finished the book in one night! For me, Blackbringer ranks with the first book of the Unicorn Chronicles by Bruce Coville. It’s both fun and epic in scope; if you enjoy fantasy, you really should give Blackbringer a shot.