Readers, beware: what you hold in your hands is a dreadful fairy book.
I wish I were narrating almost any other fairy story, but alas, this is my lot. Whatever expectations you have of delightful and whimsical fairies are sure to be disappointed. There are certainly fairies, but most are not proper fairies. Some who are supposed to be nasty are disappointingly nice, while some who should be kind and helpful are disconcertingly surly, dishonest, and generally unpleasant company.
Our heroine is, perhaps, the worst offender―a sprite more interested in books than carefree games, who insists on being called Shade. She is on a quest, albeit with rather questionable companions, to find a place to call home. A place of companionship, comfort, and, most importantly, positively filled with books.
From Kirkus Reviews: "With an exasperated narrator who would much prefer a story whose fairies and plots behave the way they ought and with characters that not only question, but outright shatter the status quo to embrace difference, Etter offers readers a rich world of complexity and moral ambiguity as Shade navigates loss, betrayal, magic, and friendship in pursuit of the wonders of books and self-love. It’s difficult to give Etter credit for diverse racial representation in a world of multihued nonhuman creatures; nevertheless, this chubby brown protagonist full of flaws and wit and heart is quite welcome."