The Oddmire, book two: The Unready Queen
by William Ritter
320 pages; ages 8-12
Algonquin Young Readers (Workman), 2020
Things are finally getting back to normal for the human and goblin brothers Cole and Tinn. After their previous adventure in the Wild Wood they are back home and going to school (mo-o-om! we can walk to school by ourselves!). Working through lessons. Discovering girls. And, for Tinn, trying to learn how to control his goblin magic. Fortunately, he’s got a goblin mentor who teaches him howling and the stuff of goblin culture he missed by living amongst humans. Learning magic might be like learning how to swim… or at least learning to listen to the universe and accept what it provides when you need it.
Relations between the fay folk and humans is already stretched, but when a new guy arrives in town and begins hiring roustabouts for his drilling rig, things blow up. When the humans cut down the Grandmother Tree, a giant destroys the drilling rig.
It takes little effort for a sour old man to convince the townspeople that the Wild Wood’s magic is evil. And it looks as though the pixies and other magic folk have been doing more than the usual mischief. Are they trying to start a war with the humans? Or is someone going to great lengths to make it seem that way?
Cole, Tinn, the Wild Wood witch’s daughter Fable, and Evie (whose very presence causes Tinn to stutter) are drawn into the conflict even after promises made. For Cole and Tinn: promises to stay out of the Wild Wood. For Fable: promises to stay within the Wild Wood. At the end of it all the question remains: is it possible for people of two vastly different cultures to live together in respect and tolerance and understanding?
This is the story of:
a young queen who does not want to be a queen
a changeling trying to find himself
a brother feeling left out
an artist who wants to see the magic
But mostly the strong bonds of friendship and family.
Thanks for dropping by today. On Monday we'll be hanging out at Marvelous Middle Grade Monday with other bloggers. It's over at Greg Pattridge's blog, Always in the Middle, so hop over to see what other people are reading. Review copy provided by the publisher.
I'm taking a winter break ~ so have a Joyous Solstice and a Merry New Year!
See you in January.