Seven Wild Sisters: A Modern Fairy Tale

Charles de Lint, illus. by Charles Vess. Little, Brown, $18 (272p) ISBN 978-0-316-05356-3
In this lovely sequel to The Cats of Tanglewood Forest, the earlier story's heroine, Lillian, now elderly, still lives in a simple house in a secluded hollow, up in the hills. Strong-willed Sarah Jane lives with her mother and six feisty sisters in the nearest town, but she loves the woods and soon befriends Lillian, who is full of wondrous stories about the local fairies. When Sarah Jane saves the life of a tiny ‘sangman (ginseng fairy) struck by many tiny arrows, she enters into her own fairy story. The ‘sangmen, it seems, are at war with the bee fairies, and the two hostile fairy tribes soon take Sarah Jane's sisters hostage, hoping to trade them for the tiny man. Vess's illustrations are gracefully in sync with the storyline, and de Lint fleshes out both major and minor human characters, as well as mythical creatures like Lillian's fairy love, the Apple Tree Man. The lyrical narrative blends a contemporary setting with a fairy tale that might have been plucked from a distinctly different time and place. Ages 8–12. Agent: Russ Galen, Scovil Galen Ghosh Literary Agency, Inc. (Feb.)
Reviewed on: 02/10/2014
Release date: 02/01/2014
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