THE VARIOUS

Steve Augarde, Author . Random/Fickling $15.95 (448p) ISBN 978-0-385-75029-5

Mill Farm, an old family homestead whose lands have recently gone up on the auction block, turns out to be the ancient home of a panoply of magical beings, in British author/illustrator Augarde's rich and atmospheric fairy tale, the first in a trilogy. Twelve-year-old Midge goes to stay in the country with her eccentric Uncle Brian while her emotionally distant mother, a classical musician, tours with an orchestra. Midge quickly adapts to rural life, and as she explores a dilapidated barn, she discovers a winged horse pinned under a piece of farm machinery. She rescues the creature, who reveals himself as Pegs, one of the Various, and the horse tells her of the multiple races of fairies living in the dense forest nearby—the same forest that Uncle Brian plans to sell for development. Pegs brings Midge before the assembled fairies to allow her to warn them that their homeland is at risk, but many among them do not trust humans ("Gorji"). In Augarde's tale, the fairies struggle with divisiveness and racism just as humans do. His language bubbles with an adventurousness befitting a bright-eyed 12-year-old as he explores this society's caste system and power plays. The author ably balances moments of drama with large doses of humor, such as the character of the clueless fairy queen, Ba-betts. Augarde unfolds the events gradually, allowing readers to luxuriate in the near-idyllic setting he has created and beckoning them back for future installments. Ages 10-up. (Jan.)

Reviewed on: 01/12/2004
Release date: 01/01/2004
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FORMATS
Library Binding - 448 pages - 978-0-385-75037-0
Prebound-Other - 978-0-606-34567-5
Prebound-Sewn - 978-1-4176-9167-8
Paperback - 448 pages - 978-0-440-42029-3
Open Ebook - 978-0-375-89280-6
Prebound-Glued - 447 pages - 978-0-7569-4793-4
Ebook - 448 pages - 978-0-307-54868-9
Open Ebook - 1 pages - 978-1-299-21475-0
Open Ebook - 448 pages - 978-1-4070-7781-9
Hardcover - 259 pages - 978-0-385-60474-1
Paperback - 259 pages - 978-0-552-54858-8
Hardcover - 978-1-84992-009-4
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