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Once Upon A Bookshelf

Where Fiction and Reality Meet

The Light-Bearer’s Daughter

Author: O.R. Melling
Publisher: Penguin Books
Originally Published: 2001
This Edition Published: 2002
Source: Purchased used

The Story

The Light Bearer's DaughterFrom the back of the book:

Eleven-year-old Dana has just discovered that her father intends to move her family from her beloved home in Ireland to Canada. As she grapples with his decision, Dana is unwittingly drawn into the world of Faerie. Wandering the woods, she meets a strange young woman who charges her with a secret mission: to carry a message from the High King of Faerie to his second-in-command deep in the mountains. If she succeeds, Dana will have her heart’s desire – any wish will be granted. So begins a journey that will lead Dana far from home, and into the magical land of boggles, oakmen, leprechauns and ancestral spirits.

But why has the High King chosen Dana for this mission? And if she succeeds, can her wish really come true?

The Response

I’ve very slowly been making my way through Melling’s The Chronicles of Faerie, and I thought this was the last one – it turns out I am wrong (thankfully) and there is one more after this one. (AND it takes place in Canada!) Huzzah!

I absolutely love the way Melling portrays Faerie in her books. Yes, it is dangerous… but it’s not nearly as dark a lot of modern faerie stories. Instead, it’s more like the fantasy novels I read when I was a kid. In fact, this one reminded me a lot of a cross between one of the Narnia books and The Neverending Story.

As with the two previous books, Dana is someone we haven’t met before – but it sounds like the last book in the series will tie all of the characters together. There was something about Dana that was absolutely charming and adorable, and she won my heart immediately. She has so much sweet innocence and yet was still able to handle the scariness that Faerie had to send her way. I love the way that we had the opportunity to see the wonders of Faerie through her eyes.

We also got to see Honor briefly, whose twin was the main character in The Summer King. Honor is a queen in Faerie – married to the Summer King, and we get to see how a human can also be a fae, how she forgets some things about her human nature when she’s fae and forgets other things about fairies when she’s human.

I’ve said this before, but Melling’s stories are wonderful because of how much they draw on Irish folklore. Her fey are extremely traditional, which is a huge difference from a lot of contemporary stories about fey. While it can be fun to have something new thrown in the mix, sometimes more traditional stories have so much more charm.

The Bottom Line

This was definitely a highly enjoyable book, and I am really looking forward to the last book in the series. I would recommend it to fantasy fans who are looking for something that is a little bit truer to traditional folklore.

Posted by Courtney Wilson @ 7:10 am October 16, 2014.
Category: Young Adult
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