by Mary-Anne Grosse Ivie
Through the Petrified Forest, into the dark cave and up past the Black Pool is a land called Tranquility. In a wondrous and enchanted land where the fairy folk live, a young woman-whose mother is the old woman who lives in a shoe-finds the virtues she learned at home to be very handy. She arrives in Tranquility to be a witch's maid, innocent and inexperienced. In time, both the fairy folk and the young woman discover that she is destined to be a part of the struggle between good and evil in the fairy world that erupts shortly after her arrival. Elves and witches, sorcerers and warlocks, pixies and sorceresses-all will come into Lisa's life and she into theirs; some to their good, some to their destruction. In Tranquility and its neighboring lands, honesty, loyalty, truth and goodness are rewarded happily, dare it be said, ever after.
I read a decent enough review of this from someone I trust to make me think that I should give it a try, so when the author approached me about reviewing, I agreed even though I've been trying to stay away from self-published/vanity press/etc works. And I hate to do this, I really do, because I think there is heart in this book. But this is one of the most fractured, stilted, didactic pieces of something I have read in some time. I went in circles for days before I sat down to write this review, and I couldn't come up with any other way to say it. I just -- hmm.
I feel like I need to rein myself in a bit because I'm not intending to be mean, I know this is someone's baby, and she was nice enough to send it to me, and there will be people that will love this, and love to read it with their children. And in a way, that's what it reads like. It reads like a meandering bedtime story told by a distracted parent to a constantly-interrupting child, giving a sort of simple but incomplete feel to the story. Things just seem to happen out of nowhere, with no real impetus, and then they're over and the next thing happens. There's no real flow or -- I don't know if this will make sense, but it was a little too much like storytelling and a little too less storywriting.
In the end, it just was. It reminded me of the scene from an episode of family guy where they have a tangent about the Canadian film festival, and it was just this pointless little story where nothing happened and the dialogue was stitled and simple. That's how I felt reading this. Maybe not fair, maybe it's just not the story for me, but there you have it.