Reviews for Blackbringer
Booklist Reviews 2007 May #2
Magpie, granddaughter of the West Wind, is born of dreams. When Humans--"mannies"--start letting loose devils in the world, faerie Magpie and her band of rough-and-tumble, cheroot-smoking crows must start hunting them down. The tale takes its time in unfolding, with lovely echoes of its literary antecedents from Tolkien on down. Magpie also learns it is she who must keep the dark from swallowing the world. She finds where the dragons, and her ancient heroine, Bellatrix, have gone, and she wakes an ancient djinni.The tapestry of the world needs reweaving, and a blond, tattooed princeling needs a way to remake his malformed wings. This all braids together into a radiant conclusion. Vibrant language overcomes a surfeit of telling rather than showing. 'Pie is one tough faerie, and the way is open for more tales about her to come.
Horn Book Guide Reviews 2007 Fall
While most faeries flit about blithely unaware of the world outside their forest, Magpie Windwitch and her rough-and-tough crow tribe hunt down rogue devils. But Magpie may not be able to protect the faeries when Blackbringer, the oldest evil of all, threatens total obliteration. Well-rounded characters fight, banter, love, live, and die in this fully imagined fantasy world. Copyright 2007 Horn Book Guide Reviews.
Horn Book Guide Reviews 2008 Spring
While most faeries flit about blithely unaware of the world outside their forest, Magpie Windwitch and her rough-and-tough crow tribe hunt down rogue devils. But Magpie may not be able to protect the faeries when Blackbringer, the oldest evil of all, threatens total obliteration. Well-rounded characters fight, banter, love, live, and die in this fully imagined fantasy world. Copyright 2008 Horn Book Guide Reviews.
Kirkus Reviews 2007 May #2
Featuring both an uncommonly well-conceived setting and buckets of high-energy action, Taylor's debut tale of a thumb-sized devil hunter who comes this close to meeting her match belongs at the top of everyone's fantasy must-read list. Having discovered that ignorant humans are actually releasing brutish devils from the enchanted bottles into which they had been forced 25,000 years ago, young Magpie Windwitch has set herself to flitting about the planet with a bevy of ageless crows to recapture them. But devil number 24 turns out to be a different sort of proposition altogether--a shapeless mass of darkness and hatred that "uncreates" its victims and is out to unweave the warp and weft of the world itself. By the time devil and hunter have squared off in Dreamdark, a bespelled wood that hides the last great Faerie settlement, 'Pie has discovered that she has more abilities, and a role to play in larger events, than she had ever dreamed. Taylor carries her Faerie world well beyond its recognizably Victorian base, and crafts a memorably clever, intrepid insect-winged heroine to save it. (Fantasy. 11-13) Copyright Kirkus 2007 Kirkus/BPI Communications. All rights reserved.
Publishers Weekly Reviews 2007 May #2
I n 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, clichs and turns of phrase, makes for engaging escapism. Ages 10-up. (June) [Page 54]. Copyright 2007 Reed Business Information.
School Library Journal Reviews 2007 August
Gr 5-8-- Magpie Windwitch, accompanied by her trusty band of crows, has made it her business to hunt down any and all demons she can find, but when a nasty entity called the Blackbringer escapes its protective bottle, Magpie finds herself outpowered. Most of her fellow faeries are no help, so she must use her wits, her unique and talented friends, and her own magical gifts to vanquish the ancient and evil Blackbringer. Magpie is a feisty faerie with a spicy way with language and a disdain for all things sweet and delicate, and as long as she is center stage, readers will be entranced. The plot, sweeping and filled with a variety of creatures as it is, lags occasionally; this is a very long book. That said, true fans of Faerie, as well as fantasy buffs who like lots of action with their magic, will gobble this one up.--Eva Mitnick, Los Angeles Public Library [Page 126]. Copyright 2007 Reed Business Information.
VOYA Reviews 2007 June
At the time that the Djinn created all things, seven champions captured all the devils in bottles and cast them to sea. The bottles were secured by spells that nothing then alive could undo. One millennium later, humans appeared. No faerie knew how or why, but "mannies" began undoing what the champions had fought to contain, and now devils are on the loose again. Magpie Windwitch is an elemental faerie. She is the granddaughter of the West Wind and the only devil-hunting faerie in Dreamdark. She and her band of crows are hunting the worst devil of all, Black Bringer, whose hunger knows no limit and whose goal is to suffocate the world created by the Djinn. Taylor creates a familiar world using magical creatures with which readers will identify: faeries, imps, dragons, and magical animals. Like many unsuspecting heroes, Magpie uncovers truths about her past, secrets about her world, and steps into a leadership role that she never meant to hold. She becomes a savior for her world simply by being sincere, industrious, and morally driven. Taylor drives the story forward by slowly teasing the reader with twists and turns in the plot. What seems to be a story about a devil-hunting faerie turns gradually into more, and never does the narrative feel contrived to reach the end. Magpie's heroic accomplishment is not achieved alone, nor is it accomplished without mistakes along the way. Teen readers will identify with this faerie's humanness.-Jessica Mize 4Q 4P M J Copyright 2007 Voya Reviews.