Sunday, September 13, 2015

Tory Blithe and the St. John's Pixies

Scott Butcher once again gave me a review copy of the newest book in his Fairly Stillwart Chronicles. It looks like the final three books in the series just came out in a new omnibus edition (and not individually), which is why it's been a little over a year since I reviewed The Scotti and 'Fairies Don't Exist.' Even though the final three are together in The Fairly Stillwart Chronicles, Volume 2, I've decided I'm going to review them all separately here, starting with Book Four: Tory Blithe and the St. John's Pixies.

Tory Blithe and the St. John's Pixies is a very different book from the first three. This one opens with Stillwart, Appleblossom, the human child Phoebe (who has been turned into a fairy), and the pixie knight Nightwood captured by Tory Blithe, leader of the St. John's Pixies. Their friends have heard that Tory Blithe is planning on marrying Stillwart, and so are planning a rescue. But Stillwart is not demurely accepting his plan: the pixie princess wants to level Tory Blithe's stronghold. The only thing stopping her is the fact that Appleblossom and Phoebe are here too. And Tory Blithe has threatened to kill them if Stillwart doesn't marry him.

Now as I just mentioned, it's been over a year since I read Book Three. Which means my memory for exactly what happened leading up to this book was a bit hazy. Luckily, Butcher builds little reminders right into the story, making it easy to follow along.

One thing that was odd was that this book does not follow Stillwart very much. And while that is necessary for this particular story, it was rather unfortunate because Stillwart is the star of the show. I love her character, and missed seeing her ingenuity at solving the problems at hand. Hopefully she'll be more centre-stage for book five, The Hidden Chronicle.

I also think Tory Blithe and the St. John's Pixies may be suffering a little bit from having too many main characters. Personally I was having a bit of a hard time keeping everyone straight (but again, it has been awhile since I read the first three, so that's not helping me either). And not just too many, but having them all going off in different directions. Hopefully book five will have the characters in one main group again, which will help with this a lot!

So all in all, Tory Blithe and the St. John's Pixies was by no means my favourite book in the Fairly Stillwart Chronicles. But it was still an interesting tale that brought to light the darker side of Stillwart's world. It also gives you a bit of a glimpse into what Stillwart's mother is like. So now I'm really looking forward to reading The Hidden Chronicle!

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