Book review: “Faerie Wars” by Herbie Brennan

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Faerie Wars
by Herbie Brennan

Henry Atherton lives in present-day England and he has very present-day problems. He does odd jobs for a crazy old man who believes in fairies and UFOs, in order to save money for an MP3 player. His sister is horse-crazy. His parents are splitting up. Henry hardly knows how to help himself, or his family. So he certainly isn’’t prepared to find out that old Mr. Fogarty is right about fairies and alien abductions.

It begins when Henry rescues a butterfly from Mr. Fogarty’s cat. Only it isn’t a butterfly. It’s a tiny, red-headed boy with wings. Who is actually the Crown Prince of the Faerie Realm, Pyrgus Malvae. Ordinarily Pyrgus isn’t a titch with butterfly wings, but something went wrong when he “translated” into our world, which is like an alternate universe to the Faerie Realm.

Pyrgus is on the run from some nasties called Faeries of the Night, who are in league with demons who, apart from the fire and brimstone stuff, also drive flying saucers, and do medical experiments on people. And Pyrgus is also the victim of a shadowy conspiracy to assassinate the Purple Emperor (Pyrgus’s father) and the heir (Pyrgus himself), invade the Realm with hordes of demons, and “conquer, loot, and pillage” the Realm of Faerie. After which the Prince of Demons, Beleth, as the new Emperor, will turn his forces toward the Analogue Realm…that is, our world.

Beleth has some really colorful nasties on his side, from the flamboyant Jasper Chalkhill to the over-the-top-wicked summoner of demons, Silas Brimstone. And who can possibly fight against him? What chances have old Mr. Fogarty with his interesting past, Prince Pyrgus with his soft spot for kittens, Henry who hardly believes in anything and has enough problems of his own? What chances do they have, even with the aid of Pyrgus’ beautiful and formidable sister Blue and an orange dwarf with poisoned teeth? And when Pyrgus’ attempt to go back to the Faerie Realm puts him in the clutches of Beleth himself…and when Mr. Fogarty gets implicated in the sinister plot to assassinate the Emperor…and when Henry passes through the portal between the worlds and the first thing he sees is Princess Blue naked…will there be a tomorrow for the Faerie Realm?

Well, there had better be. The book ends with the words “To be continued,” and I’ll hold the author to it. Combining elements of science fiction, fantasy, fairy-tale, modern-day action-adventure, and family drama, this highly entertaining book looks like the beginning of a magnificent series.

Occult content advisory: in this book, a very nasty man named Brimstone summons a demon with the aid of a grimoire, pentacles, sacrifices, etc. Those who strongly object to occult practices should be advised.

Parental guidance advisory: If this book was a movie (hey, that’s a good idea), it would be rated PG-13 for violence, language, adult situations, and brief nudity.