Her mother, frustrated as what she perceives at her daughters misbehaviour, has shipped her of to stay with her grandmother’s rambling old manor house in the country for a few weeks.
Only, Tanya’s not misbehaving, it’s the faeries that are causing the trouble, and that’s hardly an excuse anyone will believe, is it?
Not only that, you’d think the old house with its secret passages, locked doors, and overgrown walls, would be heaven to Tanya and Fabian the slightly geeky groundkeeper’s son who also lives on the grounds. But in reality, it’s a pretty gloomy place, and the fun of exploring is rather lessened when the place is teeming with faeries!
There’s also the decades old mystery, of a young girl who went missing in the village and was never found, is intertwined in both their families lives, and when come across a girl in the woods that resembles a photograph of the girl, they resolve to find out the truth. As they begin to uncover some shocking secrets…
This isn’t a book that I would have normally picked up, despite it winning the 2009 Waterstones Children’s Book Prize. However I was lucky enough to win a copy from the publisher in the October Readathon.
One of the joys of the book is the development of the friendship between Tanya and Fabian, at the start it’s a friendship created by living in the same house, but as the story develops, it becomes one where the pair support each other when the going gets tough.
Aimed at a slightly younger age group these aren’t the sensuous fae, to be found in other recent novels such as Tithe and Wicked Lovely. But that does not mean they are any less dark, they still mean business and are prepared to do anything to get what they want.
Despite a shaky early section, I did like it. Once the story reaches the manor house and the introductions to the house and characters are out of the way, the story really hits its stride, and becomes an engaging, gothicy and slightly old-fashioned (in a good way) adventurous romp.