Amy Bearce’s twist on fairies and magic in her novel the Fairy Keeper is inventive and really works! Fairies are not sweet. They are fierce. Fairy Queens are not motherly they are ruthless. And magic is not something not of this world. It is literally what holds the world together. Welcome to Aluvia a world that is literally coming undone because magic is being drained from it. Sierra, the main character’s world is coming undone too. She is a fairy keeper, one responsible for collecting magic nectar from a fairy hatch. When her father trades her younger sister to a rival, the only way Sierra can free her sister is if she finds her missing fairy Queen and returns her to her father. What she ends up finding when she sets out to do so is much more than her missing Queen of course. She learns the reason the world is falling apart, important things about herself and what she is destined to do about it.
Aluvia is a world, full of dark alchemists and merchants who make and sell poisons and a powerful drug Flight made of the nectar produced by fairies. Sierra is the daughter of Jack the most powerful alchemist. She is a one of the fairy keepers, a person who tends to the fairies and collects their nectar much like a bee -keeper. But what the people of this world don’t know is taking this nectar that contains magic that the fairies are supposed to sprinkle across the world is damaging the whole fabric of their world. As magic drains from their world, the world is literally weakening causing earthquakes and figuratively weakening as people are increasingly corrupt, violent and addicted.
When all the fairies die and their Queens disappear, Sierra sets off on a quest to find her Queen with her best friend Corbin and Nell, a guard sent by her father. She intends to return the Queen to the hatch so she can save her sister but soon realizes there is more at stake than just her sister’s freedom. Along the way, she grows as a person as she has to figure out what is right and wrong, in her relationships, as she must figure out her place with Corbin and Nell, and learns her role with regards to magic, because she has a destiny that is more than just a fairy keeper. Throw in a handsome faun, some villains and a dragon and you have the making of a fun adventure with a message.
The “save the planet” theme in this book is subtle, the portrayal of magic as a life force appealing and the character of Sierra believable, making this a book worth reading.