Brigitta of the White Forest (Faerie Tales from the White Forest #1)

Brigitta of the White Forest (Faerie Tales from the White Forest #1)

 
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Brigitta of the White Forest (Faerie Tales from the White Forest #1)
Publisher
Age Range
6+
Release Date
May 15, 2010
ISBN
978-0975404294
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Brigitta is a young Water Faerie from the village-nest of Tiragarrow. She's confused, moody, and anxious about going through The Change as she doesn't see how destiny markings on her wings should determine her life s path. A few days before the annual Festival of the Elements, Brigitta is flying an errand with Himalette, her tag-a-long sister, when a mysterious curse turns everyone in the White Forest to stone -- except for the two of them. The sisters have no idea why they were not cursed, but they do know if they don't turn everyone back in time for the festival rituals, the Hourglass of Protection will run out and so will its protective field around the forest. With no one in their forest left to help them, they must leave the protected realm to seek an exiled faerie they have only heard about in ancient tales. With assistance from a few allies they make along the journey, the girls find their way to Dead Mountain in search of the banished faerie. When they arrive, they find the help they are looking for, but soon discover that things are not what they seem. Running out of time, Brigitta and Himalette must use their wits to battle evil in order to lift the curse and save their forest. A book for those who enjoy fantasy adventure, Brigitta of the White Forest offers a new twist on the faerie tales so loved by young readers.

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(Updated: May 08, 2012)
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A young faery must save her home!

Brigitta of the White Forest by Danika Dinsmore, is a little gem of a book. It is as fresh in its re-imagining of the fairy, sorry, faery world as other recent fairy novels like The Night Fairy and Violet Wings. And like those books, despite being about faeries (whose image takes a beating any time Disney gets near them) it manages to evade becoming overly sweet or sparkly.

Brigitta is a young faery just on the edge of adulthood, watching with envy and fear as some of her friends get their destiny markings, patterns which develop on a faery's wings when he or she becomes an adult. The pattern sets the faery's course in life: a certain pattern announces that this faery will be a cook; another pattern shows that this faery will take care of children, and so on. Brigitta longs for her own pattern to emerge, and yet fears the limitations it will impose. In this, she is like any adolescent desperate to grow up, and at the same time, utterly terrified.

However, when the faeries of the White Forest are turned to stone (except Brigitta and her sister, both of whom are protected by the Blue Spell), destiny markings seem unimportant. What matters is that no matter how young she feels or how unready to face adulthood, Brigitta must do the job that's in front of her -- countering the evil magic suddenly loose in the White Forest, and protecting her younger sister. The two girls set out on a dangerous quest to save their world, bickering as much as sisters do, but also managing to do more together than they would have done alone.

The story follows a fairly standard quest format: make friends, overcome obstacles, encounter mysterious elder, face ultimate evil, almost fail, eventually triumph. Like that. Yet the details are what matter, and this world is richly imagined and described, the characters believable and their journey exciting to read about. The story may be predictable seen from a distance, but up close it's new and engaging.

The book does suffer a bit from an excess of world-building. At times, fewer fancy names, foods and flowers would have made the story flow more gracefully. Yet this is not a serious flaw and never made me stop reading, even if I did skim here and there.

The author's imagination, however, is clearly an active and beautiful thing. Brigitta of the White Forest ends with the promise of more stories to come. It will be a treat to find out what surprises lie in store for us.

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A great fairy adventure

Brigitta and her younger sister, Himalette, are the only two faeries in their entire village of White Forest that have not been affected by a mysterious curse. During the preparations for the annual festival, every living being in the White Forest is turned to stone. Brigitta suddenly finds herself faced with a great challenge. She doesn’t know how to reverse the curse—or where to go for help—but she knows she must do something before the magical protection around her village is destroyed. With a great responsibility weighing on them, Brigitta and Himalette start their journey to Dead Mountain, where they hope to find help from the banished faerie, Hrathgar.



Along the way to Dead Mountain, Briggita and her sister encounter many dangers and make new friends. Together, Brigitta, Himalette, and Minq (a character that seems to resemble Jar Jar Binx from StarWars) head off to Dead Mountain. When they get there, they meet Hrathgar. Brigitta and Himalette are mesmerized by her kindness and can’t seem to understand why she has always been described as evil in the stories of faerie lore. Minq is not so easily impressed by Hrathgar’s innocent appearance. Through several twists and turns of events, the young faeries quickly learn that everything is not what it appears to be. Hrathgar is actually two separate people! Hrathgar Good (the faerie they first meet) and Hrathgar Evil (the faerie from the stories) are split personalities that share the curse from ancient times. Brigitta and her friends find themselves faced with an even more difficult challenge: they have to end the curse on their village and defeat Hrathgar Evil. But they aren’t sure if they are capable of destroying such a powerful faerie all by themselves.

I must start off saying that this book was great! Overall, it’s a great story about discovering your destiny and courage. Brigitta is brave, even though she doesn’t realize it. She’s determined to make things right in her village, so she sets off on what seems to be an impossible task. After everything is resolved, she is shocked to find that her destiny markings have finally revealed themselves. While she’s trying to understand the great change that she will face, she has a pretty deep conversation with Ondelle, the High Priestess of the faeries, about destiny. Ondelle shares some words of wisdom with Brigitta when she tells her “to allow all destinies to unfold as they should.” Brigitta tries to let this set in, but it’s still a hard concept for such a young faerie.

If you look at the book from a literary stand point--which I would be inclined to do with my students-- you can see several similarities to the classic struggles of good against evil in literature. There are evil villains with dubious plots and young heroes that have to discover their inner strengths and final destinies. Young Brigitta begins the story as a faerie that doesn’t fit in or understand her place in the faerie society. By the end of the book, she has an idea of what her future holds, even though she doesn’t think she can fulfill the high expectations. I couldn’t help but think of The Lord of the Rings as I read through this book, which isn’t a bad thing, considering I liked those books as well.

The plot is fast paced and starts quickly. You are sucked in to the story within the first two chapters. I was very thankful that it did not take long to develop the plot, and that the plot moved quickly throughout the book. The names were highly original, but I also found them a mouth full. If I had to read this book aloud, I might have some difficulty pronouncing all the names and places. Of course, that is a minor detail that doesn’t interfere with the story at all. My favorite aspect of the entire book is the great detail that went into describing the setting and characters. The touchy relationship between Brigitta and Himalette was very believable. I could picture the looks of irritation on Brigitta’s face as her younger sister sang her invented nonsense songs. The characters were very well developed and enjoyable, and I enjoyed them all.

I would say that this book is intended for the younger readers (10-12 year olds) that enjoy E.D. Baker’s books. It might seem a bit childish for the traditional YA reader. Brigitta is just reaching the point of “The Change,” so she isn’t as mature (in some aspects) as some of the more well known characters in YA literature. Brigitta of the White Forest is a clean, fast paced adventure that I would certainly recommend to any reader that enjoys stories about faeries and a good light-hearted read.

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Great Fairy Adventure

Reader reviewed by The Flashlight Reader

Brigitta and her younger sister, Himalette, are the only two faeries in their entire village of White Forest that have not been affected by a mysterious curse. During the preparations for the annual festival, every living being in the White Forest is turned to stone. Brigitta suddenly finds herself faced with a great challenge. She doesnt know how to reverse the curseor where to go for helpbut she knows she must do something before the magical protection around her village is destroyed. With a great responsibility weighing on them, Brigitta and Himalette start their journey to Dead Mountain, where they hope to find help from the banished faerie, Hrathgar.


 


Along the way to Dead Mountain, Briggita and her sister encounter many dangers and make new friends. Together, Brigitta, Himalette, and Minq (a character that seems to resemble Jar Jar Binx from StarWars) head off to Dead Mountain. When they get there, they meet Hrathgar. Brigitta and Himalette are mesmerized by her kindness and cant seem to understand why she has always been described as evil in the stories of faerie lore. Minq is not so easily impressed by Hrathgars innocent appearance. Through several twists and turns of events, the young faeries quickly learn that everything is not what it appears to be. Hrathgar is actually two separate people! Hrathgar Good (the faerie they first meet) and Hrathgar Evil (the faerie from the stories) are split personalities that share the curse from ancient times. Brigitta and her friends find themselves faced with an even more difficult challenge: they have to end the curse on their village and defeat Hrathgar Evil. But they arent sure if they are capable of destroying such a powerful faerie all by themselves.


 


I must start off saying that this book was great! Overall, its a great story about discovering your destiny and courage. Brigitta is brave, even though she doesnt realize it. Shes determined to make things right in her village, so she sets off on what seems to be an impossible task. After everything is resolved, she is shocked to find that her destiny markings have finally revealed themselves. While shes trying to understand the great change that she will face, she has a pretty deep conversation with Ondelle, the High Priestess of the faeries, about destiny. Ondelle shares some words of wisdom with Brigitta when she tells her to allow all destinies to unfold as they should. Brigitta tries to let this set in, but its still a hard concept for such a young faerie.


 


If you look at the book from a literary stand point--which I would be inclined to do with my students-- you can see several similarities to the classic struggles of good against evil in literature. There are evil villains with dubious plots and young heroes that have to discover their inner strengths and final destinies. Young Brigitta begins the story as a faerie that doesnt fit in or understand her place in the faerie society. By the end of the book, she has an idea of what her future holds, even though she doesnt think she can fulfill the high expectations.  I couldnt help but think of The Lord of the Rings as I read through this book, which isnt a bad thing, considering I liked those books as well.


 


The plot is fast paced and starts quickly. You are sucked in to the story within the first two chapters. I was very thankful that it did not take long to develop the plot, and that the plot remained fast paced throughout the book. The names were highly original, but I also found them a mouth full. If I had to read this book aloud, I might have some difficulty pronouncing all the names and places. Of course, that is a minor detail that doesnt interfere with the story at all. My favorite aspect of the entire book is the great detail that went into describing the setting and characters. The touchy relationship between Brigitta and Himalette was very believable. I could picture the looks of irritation on Brigittas face as her younger sister sang her invented nonsense songs. The characters were very well developed and enjoyable, and I enjoyed them all.


 


I would say that this book is intended for the younger readers (10-12 year olds) that enjoy E.D. Bakers books. It might seem a bit childish for the traditional YA reader. Brigitta is just reaching the point of The Change, so she isnt as mature (in some aspects) as some of the more well known characters in YA literature. Brigitta of the White Forest is a clean, fast paced adventure that I would certainly recommend to any reader that enjoys stories about faeries and a good light-hearted read.


 


 


For those interested, the second book in the series is set to come out in the spring of 2012. I personally cant wait to see how Brigitta matures in this story, and to find out if some of the lingering mysteries from the first novel are solved. 


 

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