Hardcover, 352 pages
Published September 28th 2010
The Invisible Order #1
Emily Snow is twelve years old, supporting herself and her younger brother on the streets of Victorian England by selling watercress. One early winter morning on her way to buy supplies, she encounters a piskie–a small but very sarcastic fey creature that has been cornered by a group of the Black Sidhe, piskies from an opposing clan. She rescues him and unknowingly becomes involved in a war between the Seelie and the Unseelie, two opposing factions of fairies that have been battling each other throughout the long centuries of human history, with London–and England itself–as the ultimate prize.
When the Invisible Order–a centuries-old secret society of humans that has protected mankind from the fey’s interference–gets involved, things really start to get complicated.
Now she is the central figure in this ancient war that could permanently change Earth. With no one to trust, Emily must rely on her own instincts and guile to make the right choices that could save her family and all of mankind.
The first installment in Paul Crilley’s Invisible Order series takes you between two worlds, Victorian London and hidden veiled faerie world which most every day humans can not see. The faeries have divided into Seelie and Unseelie and are at war with each other. But an even greater to their existence comes from a group of men called the Invisible Order who want to lock their pathway into human civilization forever. A young and spunky 12 year old Emily Snow holds the key to bring peace and end the great war.
Highlights of the book for me were the descriptions of the magical world heroine Emily Snow sees. A giant tree where fairies live…”her eyes were drawn to the lights, hundreds, thousands of glowing orbs hanging in the air. They lit the darkness with a golden glow, as if the sun were just sinking after a glorious summer’s day…” p. 85
Crilley really fleshes out his characters and The Invisible Order was full of all kinds of creatures from traditional faery lore. The gnome Pemberton (see Chapter 24 p.242) and Corrigan the pesky piskie were my personal favorites. Black Annis and Jenny Greenteeth are the only two I didn’t care for much. Chapter four is pretty violent for children and I think they added a darker element.
Overall, the strong message I pulled away was the value of Emily’s choices and her tenacity…”You must try to make the decisions that are true and pure. Those decisions might not necessarily be what you want , but such is life.We all have to make sacrifices the greater good.You are no different.” p.318
I soaked up the section where Emily meets Merlin in his clock chamber and all of the fun beginnings of a chemistry between she and Spring Heeled Jack. Her side kick from cheap side London can break into just about anything and get away with it! This was a fun introduction to Victorian London sprinkled with faeries and I would recommend it to middle grade readers ages 13 and up.
For more information see Paul’s website at http://www.paulcrilley.com/The%20Invisible%20Order.html Thanks to EgmontUSA for sending us a copy for review!
To enter to Win Book One of the Invisible Order: Rise of The Darklings, simply comment below. Contest ends December 16, 2010 and is open to US residents.