By Patricia C. Wrede
The Queen of Faerie has two half-mortal sons. Hugh is content to stay in Faerie, but John feels compelled to roam the mortal lands, returning home to visit between Hallowe'en and May Eve. Then, because the beautiful but willful spirit Madini wishes to see all ties between Faerie and mortal lands severed forever, he is forbidden to leave home again.
Snow White and Rose Red live on the edge of the forest that conceals the ever-shifting, elusive border of Faerie. They know enough about Faerie lands and mortal magic to be most concerned when they find two human socerers setting spells near the Faerie border on the day of All Hallows.
And when the kindly, intelligent black bear wanders into their cottage some months later, they do not realize the connection between his plight and the sorcery they saw in the forest...
Yes, I read another fairy-tale novel. I know everyone must be sick of them, but I just can't help myself. Even after I get disappointed time and time again, I just have to keep punishing myself. This story wasn't fantastic, but it wasn't terrible either. I was quite attached to John and Hugh, but all the other characters seemed a little...comical. And the language threw me off quite a bit. It's set in Elizabethan Englan, and the language reflects it. I was constantly tripping over the thous, t'was, and hadst, and had to figure out a few little uses of words that meant something completely different than they do now. I was a little frusterated, as if I wanted to be harangued about language, I would read Shakespeare thank you very much. It takes concentration to keep up with Elizabethan language, and I wanted none of it, so I was mad at having to deal with it, even if it was simlified a lot. I honestly wouldn't waste my time with this one. It was fluffy, but also had some wierd little snippits of 'magic' that was similar to what I would've called black magic that strange people still believe in, and frankly that stuff makes me uneasy and finding it in a book for kids was a little disturbing. Oh well, I'm probably over-reacting, but that stuff really just creeps me out.