published August 2009, Egmont USA
357 pages (hardcover), grades 5-8
My Goodreads review:
This book pleasantly surprised me. Of all the faerie books I've read recently, I can't remember one that actually took place nearly entirely in the land of the Fey, or Feyland as it's called in this book. Zaria is a young fairy about to come of age, but she is special. She is an orphan with no knowledge of how her parents and brother "died" and she learns that she is a Violet, Level 100 fairy - which basically means she can wield more and more powerful magic than other fairies dare dream of. Unfortunately, she gets stuck with a shady mentor who can only be described as "diabolical." Zaria gets tangled in her mentor's schemes and must fight with all that she has in order to take her down and learn the truth about her family.
This book was action-packed, yes, as I could not turn the pages quickly enough, but it was also quite descriptive of Feyland and the fairies and genies themselves. Each chapter began with an excerpt from "Orville Gold, genie historian of Feyland," which included information about the world, its inhabitants, and their practices. Generally, I find quotes at the start of chapters rather annoying, but I enjoyed getting the inside story apart from the actual plot sequence in the book. It actually reminded me a lot of Harry Potter - witches and wizards are replaced by fairies and genies, but essentially the magic is still there and hey, there's an orphan and a bad guy must be defeated. And of course, friendship is at the heart of this story.