Aurelie: A Faerie Tale
Author: Heather Tomlinson
Publisher: Square Fish
Pages: 184 (Hardback)
Release Date: September 2, 2008
How Received: Library
Summary: Once upon a time, three children and a little river dragon were the best of friends—until a promise was broken. Now they are almost grown up and barely speaking to one another. With her country in turmoil, Aurelie is sent on a peacekeeping mission. But how can she prevent a war when she can’t even make her friends get along? Heartsick at losing her dearest companions, especially the handsome Garin, Aurelie finds comfort in her secret, late-night trips to fairyland. But a princess can’t hide from her duties forever. Her country needs her, and so do her friends—whether they know it or not.
Aurelie is a short fairytale novel about four childhood friends – three children and one dragon (or drac). I think the premise of the novel was pretty good; it was the execution of it that lacked. A lot.
Nothing is really explained in this novel. We know there are Fae, but we aren’t explained what each one is. The only explanation is a very mini one for drac’s. It was difficult distinguishing what each country was. Names of places, people, and faeries are thrown at us without any real meaning. The children are sworn to secrecy about their ability to see Fae, and that it’d be disastrous if anyone knew about it. But what was so disastrous, besides becoming blind?
Descriptions were non-existent – we didn’t know what the Fae looked like, what the main characters looked like, what the countryside (besides Skoe) looked like. It was just a jumbled mess of non-description.
The characters were very one dimensional – they just lacked all around. We know that Netta is shy, Garin is brave, Aurelie is proud, and Loic is mischievous. But that’s it. I hated how everything was forgiven so easily – and that it took place off screen. If these friends didn’t speak for 2 years, why were they all happy and dandy after a few sentences of speaking? And why were they separated? I understand why they refused to see Loic, and why Netta didn’t want to see Aurelie and Garin, but why did the latter two not speak to each other?
Time isn’t distinct in this novel. One moment, we were reading about Aurelie in her room and the next paragraph, she was suddenly somewhere else, with no word whatsoever as to how she got there. One minute she’s in the dining room of the guesthouse, the next she’s at the docks with no explanation that she’s moving.
Cover Musings: I thought the old cover had a certain charm that fairytale’s do, but I can’t say I’m very fond of the new cover. I like how they incorporated the white eagles – the symbol for Jocondagne – but the model and the awkward color scheme is just... eh.
“No, its not their lies that trouble me; it’s the ingratitude. Show them marvels, they’ll take it for their due. Share your innermost self, and they forget you. Best friends one day, and the next—what’s the quaint expression? They ‘grow up’.” (pg. 82)
Overall Thoughts/Final Comments: This novel had every potential of being good, but it was too choppy and fragmented and lacked too many things. I did like the story though, once I looked past the fact that it was a story only half there.