08 June 2010

The Tree Shepherd's Daughter by Gillian Summers

When her mother dies, fifteen-year-old Keelie Heartwood is forced to leave her beloved California to live with her nomadic father at a renaissance festival in Colorado. After arriving, Keelie finds men in tights and women in trailer trash-tight bodices roaming half-drunk, calling each other lady and lord even after closing time! Playacting the Dark Ages is an L.A. girl’s worst nightmare.

Keelie has a plan to ditch this medieval geekland ASAP, but while she plots, strange things start happening—eerie, yet familiar. When Keelie starts seeing fairies and communicating with trees, she uncovers a secret that links her to a community of elves. As Keelie tries to come to grips with her elfin roots, disaster strikes, and Keelie’s identity isn’t the only thing that’s threatened.

One part human determination and one part elfin magic, Keelie Heartwood is a witty new heroine in a world where fantasy and reality mix with extraordinary results.

The reason I give it a C+ is because Keelie's attitude started to strain my nerves very quickly.  She whined a lot and it started to get redundant.  She kept up her plans to leave practically right to the very end.  The plot seemed shaky and the romance was very much lacking.  So the final scenes flopped.

The great thing about this book though is the humor.  I found myself laughing constantly.  Keelie may not have a backbone more than half the time, but she sure does have a strong witty side.  Her "love" for Knot had me thinking about my own crazy cat.

On the writing standpoint, I did not fail to notice how Gillian Summers did a lot of telling and not showing.  The story could have been greatly strengthened if Keelie's emotions reflected on her actions more than simply saying, "She was so mad."  Though I did enjoy seeing Keelie's spirit come through in her dialogue.  The subplots flopped, too.  There seemed to have been so many ideas but none of them appeared to be fully exploited.  Perhaps in the sequels.

A fun read that would not be a waste of time.  It's a new spin on the fairy folk idea and full of entertaining characters.  I did not regret picking up this book and the sequels are being held for me at the library as we speak.

Book Info:
  • pages - paperback, 360
  • publisher - Flux
  • genre - fantasy
  • rating - 3/5
  • series - The Faire Folk Trilogy
    • The Tree Shepherd's Daughter
    • Into the Wildewood
    • The Secret of the Dread Forest
  • Summer Reading 2010 - #2