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Newford #19

Seven Wild Sisters

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Seven Wild Sisters is a publishing event, a short novel by one of today's finest fantasy writers, Charles de Lint, profusely illustrated by the legendary Charles Vess.

Together, they have created a modern fairy tale about seven sisters growing up in backwoods hill country, and how one of them finds a mystery in the forest that both endangers and could save them all.

152 pages, Hardcover

First published May 1, 2002

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About the author

Charles de Lint

417 books3,803 followers
Charles de Lint is the much beloved author of more than seventy adult, young adult, and children's books. Renowned as one of the trailblazers of the modern fantasy genre, he is the recipient of the World Fantasy, Aurora, Sunburst, and White Pine awards, among others. Modern Library's Top 100 Books of the 20th Century poll, conducted by Random House and voted on by readers, put eight of de Lint's books among the top 100.
De Lint is a poet, folklorist, artist, songwriter and performer. He has written critical essays, music reviews, opinion columns and entries to encyclopedias, and he's been the main book reviewer for The Magazine of Fantasy & Science Fiction since 1987. De Lint served as Writer-in-residence for two public libraries in Ottawa and has taught creative writing workshops for adults and children in Canada and the United States. He's been a judge for several prominent awards, including the Nebula, World Fantasy, Theodore Sturgeon and Bram Stoker.

Born in the Netherlands in 1951, de Lint immigrated to Canada with his family as an infant. The family moved often during de Lint's childhood because of his father's job with an international surveying company, but by the time Charles was twelve—having lived in Western Canada, Turkey and Lebanon—they had settled in Lucerne, Quebec, not far from where he now resides in Ottawa, Ontario.

In 1980, de Lint married the love of his life, MaryAnn Harris, who works closely with him as his first editor, business manager and creative partner. They share their love and home with a cheery little dog named Johnny Cash.

Charles de Lint is best described as a romantic: a believer in compassion, hope and human potential. His skilled portrayal of character and settings has earned him a loyal readership and glowing praise from peers, reviewers and readers.

Charles de Lint writes like a magician. He draws out the strange inside our own world, weaving stories that feel more real than we are when we read them. He is, simply put, the best.
—Holly Black (bestselling author)
Charles de Lint is the modern master of urban fantasy. Folktale, myth, fairy tale, dreams, urban legend—all of it adds up to pure magic in de Lint's vivid, original world. No one does it better.
—Alice Hoffman (bestselling author)

To read de Lint is to fall under the spell of a master storyteller, to be reminded of the greatness of life, of the beauty and majesty lurking in shadows and empty doorways.
—Quill & Quire

His Newford books, which make up most of de Lint's body of work between 1993 and 2009, confirmed his reputation for bringing a vivid setting and repertory cast of characters to life on the page. Though not a consecutive series, the twenty-five standalone books set in (or connected to) Newford give readers a feeling of visiting a favourite city and seeing old friends.
More recently, his young adult Wildlings trilogy—Under My Skin, Over My Head, and Out of This World—came out from Penguin Canada and Triskell Press in 2012, 2013 and 2014. Under My Skin won 2013 Aurora Award. A novel for middle-grade readers, The Cats of Tanglewood Forest, published by Little Brown in 2013, won the Sunburst Award, earned starred reviews in both Publishers Weekly and Quill & Quire, and was chosen by the New York Times Editors as one of the top six children's books for 2013. His most recent adult novel, The Mystery of Grace (2009), is a fascinating ghost story about love, passion and faith. It was a finalist for both the Sunburst and Evergreen awards.

De Lint is presently writing a new adult novel. His storytelling skills also shine in his original songs. He and MaryAnn (also a musician) recently released companion CDs of their original songs, samples of which can be heard on de Lin

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Displaying 1 - 30 of 168 reviews
Profile Image for La Coccinelle.
2,251 reviews3,563 followers
November 16, 2017
A few years ago, over a number of years, I read more than a few of Charles de Lint's books. While I quite like some of his adult novels -- Trader and Yarrow are a couple of my favourites -- I've had mixed results with his books for younger readers. The Blue Girl was good. Dingo... not so much. And then there's Seven Wild Sisters... which again fell a bit short. It's listed as a Newford book on Goodreads, but all that really means is that it takes place in de Lint's fictional city and surrounding areas. From what I can tell, this book wasn't a sequel or a prequel; you don't need to have read anything else to make sense of this particular story.

The edition that I read was released recently, but it's based on an older edition from 2002. That one had illustrations that were black and white and fewer in number. I could take or leave the illustrations, really. I didn't think they were that special. A couple were cute. A couple more were downright creepy...

The story is very simple, a fairytale about seven sisters who find themselves swept up into the middle of a fairy feud. The whole thing pretty much takes place over the course of one day, so the story itself isn't that complicated. In fact, I found it a little too simple. I realize that it's supposed to be a book for middle-grade readers, but I had problems with that. The writing style is... well, it's de Lint's style. And I don't think it translates very well for younger readers. At times, the syntax seems too adult; at other times -- perhaps to compensate -- it almost seems dumbed down to the point of being condescending.

The other problem I had with this particular syntax was that it made it very difficult to tell the girls apart. There are seven of them, ranging in age from sixteen to... ten? (I'm not sure if we were ever told the youngest twins' age.) That's a lot of characters to keep track of. The narrative switches back and forth between pairs of them (Adie and Elsie, Laurel and Bess, Ruth and Grace) and Sarah Jane, the thirteen-year-old middle daughter (whose sections are narrated in the first person). Sarah Jane's sections were the only ones that were really any different. With any of the other girls, it was difficult to remember which section I was reading, or even who was speaking in each section, because they all sounded alike. There wasn't a lot of difference between the speech patterns of Adie, the eldest, and Ruth and Grace, the youngest twins -- and I thought there should have been.

There was some action in this book, but it fell really flat for me. I didn't ever feel worried for the characters or think that they might not come out of their predicament alive (even though there were a few threats of death throughout the story). Some of the inter-character conflict seemed like it was there just for the sake of conflict. The whole thing wrapped up a little too easily and neatly... and while it was sort of fairytale-esque in its simplicity, I was hoping for more. And when I say "more", I don't mean that bit of teenaged romance tacked on at the end. That was completely unnecessary.

And there was one more thing in particular that really drove me to distraction. The archers in this story always "notched" their arrows. The word was spelled wrong in every instance. It's "nocked"... not "notched". If you're going to write a story with fairies shooting arrows, at least get the terminology right!

Overall, I was not too impressed. I guess I should stick to de Lint's adult fare. I haven't had very good luck with his books for younger readers.

Quotable moment:

"I like my familiar woods, watching the changes settle on them, season after season. I don't feel like a visitor anymore. I'm a neighbor now. I belong. And pretty as this place is, I don't belong here. I feel it like a buzz just under my skin. It's saying, 'You've got another home.'"

Profile Image for Leah.
803 reviews42 followers
November 16, 2017
Maybe I'm a bit like Sarah Jane Dillard in that I too "like to know the long history of a thing, not just where and what it might be now...(44-45)" because, having first read The Cats of Tanglewood Forest, I felt more connected to the tale of Seven Wild Sisters than its prequel/companion novel.

What I loved most, about both books, was the relationship between women, especially a young female with her elderly counterpart. That tradition of the two living close together, and the old telling stories to the young who, in listening to those stories, discovers a place and purpose - a sense of belonging, from someone who's already walked the different paths, who believes the wild tales no one else would believe. I think that type of relationship is important and I really enjoy how de Lint honored it in both books.

4.5 stars
Profile Image for Loren.
Author 48 books321 followers
January 2, 2008
Mart lent me this book back when we were talking about modern fairy tales. I loved the sense that fairy creatures had adapted or always existed in the hills and hollers, becoming bee fairies and sangmen rather than Sidhe and the Wild Hunt. But the story raised expectations that the Father of Cats -- or native panther -- might appear. While he was invoked, the story dodged around him. I was disappointed.

I also felt that for a book that's only 150 pages, it wasn't necessary to waste 40 pages before the story began. Especially since the characters of the sisters weren't introduced in any detail until after the story kicks in. The book read like the author was wandering around, waiting for the plot to reveal itself. I was tempted to put it down.

Final assessment: I enjoyed it, but it was slight. I have more de Lint borrowed. We'll see if I like it any better.
Profile Image for Hannah.
14 reviews
August 1, 2015
This book had all the characteristics that I loved in its predecessor, The Cats of Tanglewood Forest: a homey, folkloric atmosphere, a charming and skilled writing style, and distinct and memorable characters. The storyline is simple, but by no means boring, and the richness of de Lint's words and Vess's drawings pair together perfectly to create an immersive experience. I will be seeking out much more work by each of them in the future, and I can certainly see myself returning to this duology in the future.
Profile Image for Melanti.
1,256 reviews117 followers
November 16, 2017
I originally read this a couple of years ago in the original Subterranean Press release. When it came up as a group read this month, I noticed that the new middle grade version is around 100 pages longer and decided to compare the two editions to see where the differences lay.

First, I've got to say that Vess's artwork - both the old art that now is colorized and the brand new art - is as gorgeous as usual.

In terms of the text, I was expecting to see at least a little new content but to my surprise, there's actually very little new content - there's a extra transitory paragraph here and there and a couple of sentences that cleared up minor continuity errors. Instead, there's quite a bit of content that was taken out.

I won't go into the full details here, though I've talked quite a bit about it in the spoiler filled group read thread but in general, enough content was taken out to lower it from a Young Adult level book to a Middle Grade level book.

Among some of the things that were removed were the girls' exact ages, any reference to current or future boyfriends, any hint of sexuality or puberty (including Aunt Lillian's sexuality), dropping out of school, and other random sentences the editors felt wasn't appropriate to a middle grade audience.

They've also simplified the language a little bit in places and I noticed the characters did more emoting - stomping of feet, bursting into tears, etc - so they ended up seeming a little younger than they were originally.

I think that it reads about the same, more or less, as a middle grade book as it did in the original version and any excuse to look at some more of Vess's artwork is a good one, but there are a few passages I really wish hadn't been removed. (Per de Lint's wife - they were removed at the editor's insistence, not at de Lint's wishes.)

My favorite of these is a passage about Aunt Lillian's relationship with the Apple Tree Man:

If they'd ever been a couple, I guess he'd been the one to end it. I already knew that Aunt Lillian wasn't too happy about it, but now I got the sense that maybe he wasn't either. I thought about some of the things he'd been saying, then looked at the pair of them.

Old as she was with her own wrinkles and all, Aunt Lillian was probably more like an apple tree fairy now than she'd probably ever been in all the time he'd known her. Maybe the reason he'd been seeing less of her now than he used to wasn't so much because of what fairies can wake in a human, but because year by year she grew more attractive to him and he didn't trust himself around her. Figured they'd be happy for a time, but then she'd be gone, seeing's how our lives are so fleeting, while theirs go on forever. Maybe he just knew he couldn't bear the heartbreak.

And maybe I was just being a hopeless romantic and there wasn't any such thing going on between the pair of them.

All that was left of this lovely passage was the first two sentences.
Profile Image for Nilsson.
232 reviews3 followers
April 12, 2015
I like big families, because they're really fun to talk to and play with. My family is boring, because there are only four kids in it. Too bad the author didn't really make them talk to each other that much, and just said what they liked to do. Their family sounded really interesting, I hope someday he writes a book about what they really act like. He doesn't even have to bother with the magic part if he wants, even though I like that part too. But I'm really interested about what their family does or what their personalities are like. Maybe it could get to that part if he made a sequel.
Profile Image for Steph Myers.
345 reviews3 followers
April 25, 2014
The images were what caught my attention and had me checking out this book. Unfortunately, despite sweet graphics that are very retro, the story fell flat. It felt like a whole lot of detail was left out. I'm guessing the book was targeted to 5th graders (ish) and that it has been awhile since the author was around young readers. Could have been a great story, but there was no world-building which is kind of crucial for fantasy fiction.
Profile Image for Katherine Harbour.
Author 12 books219 followers
August 24, 2021
A modern fairy tale set in Appalachia, about seven sisters who inadvertently step into a war between two fairy factions--the Ginseng fairies and the court of the Bee Queen. Young Sarah Jane befriends an elderly neighbor named Aunt Lillian, whose knowledge of fairies comes from a childhood adventure. When Sarah Jane's sisters go missing, Aunt Lillian enlists the help of the Apple Tree Man and a cat being that calls himself Li'l Pater.
A lovely adventure about sisters steeped in folktales, with gorgeous illustrations by Charles Vess..
Profile Image for Heidi.
758 reviews22 followers
April 24, 2020
I eyed this on the shelf of our Library three or four times before diving in. Okay, it came home and went back when I saw it was #19, then I decided I didn’t care, it’s too pretty and I read it first.

I will be looking for the books now to start with book one (thank you Library friend who said you don’t need to read them in order). I’m hooked!

This edition was gorgeous! Love the spunky telling of the fairy story, with a sweet ending.
Profile Image for Sarah Lu.
372 reviews8 followers
March 24, 2019
As always, Charles de Lint delivers on a wonderful story. Add in the illustrations of Charles Vess, and this quick read is quite enthralling.
Profile Image for Lis Carey.
2,190 reviews101 followers
March 11, 2022
The Dillards are a family of eight now; a widowed mother and her seven daughters--including two sets of twins. They're living now on a farm near a small town, and a large forest. There are odd stories about the forest, about fairies and other magical creatures, and strange disappearances. Further into the woods than the Dillards' home is the little house of Lillian Kindred. Lily is an old woman who lives alone, and grows and processes most of her own food. She also collects wild-growing ginsang, or as she calls it, 'sang, to sell in town and buy the few things she can't make herself. A lot of the work is hard, heavy work, though, and when Lily and the fourth of the Dillard girls, Sarah Jane, and Lily take a liking to each other, Mrs. Dillard doesn't object to Sarah Jane spending her free time helping Lily Kindred.

Lily tells Sarah Jane many stories of fairies and other magical creatures, including 'sangmen and bee fairies, the Apple Tree Man, and the Father of Cats, who normally appears, when he does at all, as a black panther. Sarah Jane loves the stories, but she doesn't believe them. Then one day she's out gathering 'sang on her own, because Lily is feeling her age, and discovers a tiny man seemingly made of twigs, shot through with over a hundred tiny arrows, badly wounded but still breathing. She picks him up and carries him to Lily's, and along the way meets the Apple Tree Man.sovolved herself in a fairy feud, between the bee fairies and the 'sangmen. With the bee fairies believing she has chosen to ally herself with their enemies, and the 'sangmen believing she has captured their comrade and will trade him to the bee fairies, she's in danger from both sides.

The Apple Tree Man is an old friend of Lily's, who promises to help. The Apple Tree Man has another friend, a little cat-man who calls himself Lil Pater. Soon they are planning a trip into the fairy world to work out a bargain that will get the 'sangman to safety, and convince the bee fairies that Sarah Jane was merely doing a good deed for a wounded man she knew nothing about. In the process, though, Sarah Jane won't be getting home until the next morning.

Their plan doesn't go well, when they encounter the bee fairies immediately.

Meanwhile, when Sarah Jane doesn't come home when expected, Mrs. Dillard sends the oldest girl, Adie, and one of the other singletons, Elsie, to go fetch Sarah Jane.

The older set of twins decide to go wandering in the woods, "looking for Sarah Jane," but really hoping to see some of the interesting things she has talked about, and run into a strange little twig man who lures them into a trap with music. They're musicians, and they've brought their instrument cases with them, and he challenges them to a musical duel. If he wins, they have to come with him.

Unfortunately, the younger twins have played a nasty prank that, absent the interference of the fairies none of them believe in, would have been harmless. They had followed the elder twins, and saw the kidnapping--and know they have to rescue their sisters.

Soon all the Dillard sisters are confronting the bee fairies and the 'sangmen, and learning more than any of them wanted to know about fairy. It's exciting, and the human characters are believable and likable, while the various fairy characters have the colorful characteristics, the charm, and the danger that fairies ought to have.

And of course, Charles Vess's illustrations are beautiful and enhance the story.

Highly recommended.

I bought this book.
Profile Image for Brian.
256 reviews3 followers
July 9, 2017
A bit more YA than de Lint's usual Newford books, but still an enjoyable read. 7 red-headed sisters get involved (by accident) in a war between Bee Fairies and Ginseng Fairies. Everything works out.
Profile Image for Becky.
5,421 reviews122 followers
November 16, 2017
Seven Wild Sisters is a charming fantasy novel set in the modern world. The novel begins by focusing on the middle daughter, Sarah Jane, but by the end of the novel, all seven sisters have played a role in this delightful fairy fantasy adventure. The story begins, well, one could choose a dozen different "real" beginnings for this one, so I'll merely say the STORY FOR SARAH JANE begins when she befriends "Aunt Lillian." Aunt Lillian lives alone, secluded, near the woods. No electricity, no running water, no "modern" conveniences. No easy life for her. She wouldn't want to really slow down. She lives off the land; she lives for the land. She has almost seen it all. And by all, I mean she has had ENCOUNTERS with faeries and such. She is definitely different and in a way extraordinary. Sarah Jane, of course, LOVES her once she gets to know her, and from the start, Sarah Jane WANTS to get to know her. Sarah Jane's sisters are more reluctant perhaps, but, enter into this big adventure they will nevertheless! The other sisters include: Adie, Laurel and Bess, Elsie, Ruth and Grace.

Sarah Jane's adventures start when despite Aunt Lillian's advice, she finds herself getting involved in "a war" between different faeries. She sees an injured 'Sang man--100 poisoned arrows piercing him--and helps him. The bee faeries are "the enemy" depending on which "side" you find yourself. Lillian KNOWS Sarah Jane put herself--and her family--at risk. But she'll do everything she can to help her out of the mess and into a big adventure she'll never forget.

I liked this one very much. I'm not sure I LOVED it.
Profile Image for Kristen.
339 reviews41 followers
February 3, 2014
I was going through my personal wish list on Amazon (versus the library list that I keep on there), and thought that I should see if the library had it or not. Hey, they did. (Obviously) It's CdL, so I knew I'd enjoy it. I've read nearly all of his books (and own about three-quarters of them) It's relatively short, just under 150 pages, which include a few with art from Charles Vess, and while the story could easily be fleshed out to be a full-length novel, it fits perfectly with its length. It's just a sweet story, with great characters and imagery.

Also, the copy that I have in front me? I noticed when I opened the cover, it said 'Signed hardcover edition - $35', and just figured it was a promo or an error. Nope. It's actually signed by CdL. I've never been so tempted to keep a library book before. Don't worry, I'm a good girl, but I'd be lying if I said I hadn't considered asking the library if I could buy it. ;)
Profile Image for Tasha Robinson.
591 reviews126 followers
December 7, 2015
Sweet, simple, and with beautiful Charles Vess illustrations. The last act felt pretty rushed, as though this was planned as a longer book, and I could have used more of an idea of why L'il Pater helped the characters, and what he got out of it in a world that seemed to be otherwise pretty self-absorbed. (And he's a cat. Cats aren't exactly known for their altruistic nature.) This feels a bit like the opening chapters to a longer DeLint novel, but it's enjoyable for what it is.
Profile Image for Betsy.
627 reviews7 followers
June 28, 2015
With the beauty of its storytelling, art, characters, and setting, it truly is a hard place to leave.
Profile Image for Tamra.
1 review5 followers
April 4, 2018
In Charles De Lint’s Seven Wild Sisters we meet Sarah-Jane Dillard, and her six sisters growing up someplace in Appalachia and their adventures with the faeries living in the hills. Sarah-Jane is the companion of Lily Kindred, an elderly spinster living on a homestead near the Dillard’s farm. Lily teaches Sarah all about the faeries, and how to respectfully treat them, and leads her to choose the homesteading life for herself. She is constantly helping Lilly and learning from her, but one day, Sarah finds herself in her own fairy story, accidentally involving her other red-haired sisters in the adventure of a lifetime.

The faeries in Seven Wild Sisters are *not* Tinkerbell. They closely resemble their European counterparts, they are unpredictable, and some, like the antagonistic bee fairies, can be dangerous. The only truly trustworthy faerie is the Apple Tree Man, who has loved Lily for a long time. This version of the faeries is unfamiliar to Americans, and maybe frightening, but children who have previously read traditional fairy tales will soon adapt. The Bee Fairy Queen is much like the Queen of Hearts, screaming and pouting when she doesn’t get her way, even killing her own people when they dare question her, and disowning her own daughters when they marry into the Ginseng Fairy royal family. She is ultimately made to pay for her crimes as a longstanding feud comes to an end.

Sarah-Jane and her sisters love each other and stand together when faced with the dangerous Bee Faeries, demonstrating that love is stronger than hatred. The Apple Tree Man goes out on a limb (pun totally intended) for the Dillard girls and Lily in getting himself involved in the feud between the Bees and the Ginseng. He does this out of love for Lily, and is truly an honorable being. It is clear that he loves Lily enough to stay away from her, as he is nigh-immortal and cannot watch her age and die in her world or watch her pine for home in his. In the end, Lily decides that she had enough of his games and chooses to stay with him.

There is some violence involved in this faerie feud, starting with one of the Ginseng men getting filled with bee-arrows. There is some blood and threats of death toward the girls. Additionally, the book does describe a bit of the folk magic involved with thanking the faeries for letting people take from their realm. Sarah also discusses her discomfort with God’s omniscience, and some children may need to be guided through this. Also, one of the older sister’s hijinks involves running away with a boy.

All in all, Seven Wild Sisters is a great girl-centric adventure story. The details of the world draw you in, making you believe in faeries so long as the book is open. I know it inspired me… maybe it will inspire you too!
This entire review has been hidden because of spoilers.
Profile Image for Abrar.
49 reviews
January 25, 2021

“But don’t you find it hard?” Sarah Jane had asked her once. “Keeping up with it all?”
Aunt Lillian had smiled. “Hard’s being confined to a sickbed, like some my age are,” she’d said. “Hard’s not being able to look after yourself. What I do... it’s just living, girl.”
“But you could buy your food instead of growing it.”
“Sure, I could, except it wouldn’t necessarily be as pleasing to my soul.”
“You find weeding a garden pleasing?”
“You should try it, girl. You might be surprised.”

-As a hardcore farm gamer, I can confirm this.

I picked this book from my public library and I'm glad I did! Seven wild sisters is a heartfelt gripping book. I enjoyed reading it. It’s a fantasy fairytale book that talks about sisters, self-discovery, life, and a little bit of love. The writing and plot were amazingly done well, it felt like I’m reading about actual sisters, all right. Each sister had a unique personality, I quite adored everyone but Ruth and Grace struck me as the fierce sisters who like to get in trouble (i do like them of course). I highly do recommend this for anyone who enjoys a soothing calm book fairytale included as a bonus.

Also, as I mentioned earlier, I liked the twins Ruth and Grace a little more than the rest. Here's a snippet of their sassiness:
This is a SPOILER content

“What are these ‘sangmen?” Ruth asked. “Are they like the weird little guy who grabbed our sisters just now?”
The bee man nodded “They’re evil, rooty creatures.”
“And you’re just a bundle of sunshine and joy,”
Grace said.
“At least we don’t take children of the light and put them in a dark hole.”
“I think you’re making this all up,”
Ruth said. “I think the two of you are in cahoots. You and this singsong man.”
“Don’t you start correcting me,”
Ruth told him. “You’re not family.”
“You’re in danger,”
the bee man tried.
“Oh, right. Like we need to be protected from these singsong men.”
“Whatever they thing they are,”
Grace put in.
“When what we really need is to be protected from you and your little buzzy friends.”

Again, I really liked and enjoyed reading this book and I think it'll suit everyone
Profile Image for Marsha.
Author 2 books35 followers
March 19, 2020
Mr. de Lint has once again brought us to the odd little town of Newford or someplace that borders close to it. As often happens, the world of mortals and that of faery interact in sudden and unexpected ways. As usually happens, adventure starts by someone breaking the rules.

Lily Kindred warns that the fair folk must be placated but it’s best to leave them alone. Hovering somewhere between the biting fairies of Jim Henson’s “Labyrinth” and Holly Black’s malevolent spirits, these creatures may pop into the mortal world but they are left alone. Yet human beings can stumble out of and into the immortal realm as easily as stepping into a taxi.

The Dillard girls, around whom the story revolves, are a septet of ornery, sassy redheads with wildly varying temperaments yet possessing the fierce protectiveness of siblings who've been reared to depend on and care for each other.

The story takes them on a perilous adventure as they each fall, are lured into or dragged within the faery realm. There, they must draw on wells of courage, inventiveness and inner strength to win themselves free. They may be damsels but they don’t need a strong man to rescue them. In fact, the novel subtly draws a picture of feminine strength and power: a mother rears her daughters on her own; Lily Kindred is a capable elder woman who manages her homestead largely unaided; the seven Dillard daughters face off against two haughty eldritch queens. This makes it an excellent fantasy book for distaff readers. I highly recommend it.
Profile Image for Book Nerd Shenanigans.
80 reviews3 followers
August 6, 2018
A nature lover's and folklore enthusiast's dream story. This is a short delightful book that is perfect for a summer afternoon. The artwork is stunning! Charles Vess's work holds a special place in my heart. The storytelling is as wonderful as you would expect from Charles De Lint.
Seven gloriously red haired sisters live in the country in the Applachian part of Virginia. They're all very different from each other but deeply close knit. One of the middle daughters, Sarah Jane, develops a connection to an elderly neighbor that we met as a young girl in The Cats of Tanglewood Forest. Personally, I was the granddaughter of a feisty country girl with a lot of land. She knew all there was to know about the goings on taking place on her land. I can completely understand why Sarah Jane loved Aunt Lillian and her lifestyle so much. Aunt Lillian taught how to live off the land and all the local folklore. Sarah Jane believed in those stories when no one else did and those stories ended up proving themselves to be true. Highjinks ensue and everyone involved gets a new outlook on the world around them and on worlds hidden from view.
Profile Image for KiraNi.
256 reviews2 followers
November 2, 2022
В отдали от других людей живет семья. Однажды одна из сестер знакомится с бабулей и начинает ей помогать, именно так она попадет в передрягу с фейри.

Мне книга очень понравилась. Я читала и не могла остановится, настолько было интересно, что я помню как открыла и потом закрыла книгу. Сюжет проработан и динамичен, ты не успеваешь осознать одно как случается другое и не дает вам заскучать. Каждый герой имеет свой характер и изюминку. Они проработаны и очень живые, но при этом ты можешь понять, что они не настоящие. Все персонажи позитивные и вызвали только умиление и улыбку с теплотой в сердце. Каждый из них ведет себя в гранях своего характера и при этом растет. Автор пишет очень легким и простым языком. Стиль - такое чувство будто ты порхаешь над историей. Это произведение, как мне кажется, достаточно оригинально и неповторимое, хотя есть некоторые нюансы, что мне не понравились, но по сравнению со всей историей они всего-лишь пустяки.

Книге я поставила 4,5/5. А вы верите в фейри? Может вы их встречали?)

Удачного чтения!
Profile Image for Carla.
525 reviews2 followers
August 20, 2021
Found this gem at my local library in the juvenile section, so didn't know anything about it beforehand, including that it is book #19 in a series. It looks like each book is stand alone, but some are more connected to each other than others.

I love the atmosphere of the the mountain & the stories of fairies & spirits, of the seven red-haired sisters and their different personalities & strengths. I love that this was a story of an elderly mentor & a young girl and the things they learned from each other as they forged a relationship over hard work & helping. And I loved the little bit of magic that turned into a very magical tale.

The illustrations of this 2014 edition are whimsical & vintage, perfect for the story & beautifully enchanting.
Profile Image for JV Austen.
338 reviews1 follower
September 4, 2019
I am not a big fairy war fan and was reluctant to start this. Once in I couldn't put it down. The seven sisters are engaging, Lillian (from Tanglewood Cats) is a major character and the Apple Tree Man is wise in all but love apparently. Until I put these into Goodreads, I didn't realize there were so many set in the same area. Not sure how I managed to come into the middle of a series. If I'd read this book before TC, it would have given me the outcome of that book and it would have lost some of its tenseness. So do I go back and read? Do I just say I've enjoyed these 2 books and that is sufficient?
Profile Image for Fiachra.
103 reviews6 followers
June 7, 2020
It's a very strong 4 for me. The story was a modern update and introduction to fairy tales and the world of the fae. It's so captivating and intriguing, well written and enjoyable that I read most of it in a day. The edition I bought was the revised color illustrated edition and its an absolutely beautiful production, one of the nicest I have in my collection.

The only reason I attributed 4 instead of 5 stars was that I didn't get enough of the fae world that we lightly touched on an entire world I find so interesting. I'm immediately going to to look and see if he's written more in this setting so I can sate the interest Charles has created in me.
35 reviews1 follower
September 4, 2021
This is, purely and simply, a lovely book. I could quibble about how the sisters can be a bit hard to tell apart perhaps, or how the central feud of the book between two tribes of fairies was resolved pretty quickly by the end, but it's sweet-hearted, gentle and kind, and it was a delight to come back to it five years on from my first read to discover just how much I loved it, and Charles De Lint's world. A comfort read in the best sense - one that makes you want to go walking in your nearest forest with your eyes and ears open.
Profile Image for Hannah Belyea.
2,090 reviews34 followers
October 19, 2021
Sarah Jane believes the tales of fairies old Aunt Lillian tells her, but she has no idea the trouble aiding an injured one will bring her family until it's too late - and now she must enter the Otherworld if she hopes to rescue her sisters and survive a magical conflict. De Lint offers fantasy fans a charming tale, small in nature but beautiful in prose, with an enjoyable cast and gorgeous illustrations by the gifted Charles Vess. Will Sarah Jane be able to resist the pull of this realm and save her family?
Profile Image for Pubudini Jayakody.
90 reviews26 followers
September 28, 2019

Who thought fairies are evil? Watching the Disney films made me believe that fairies are pretty and kind hearted; even there were evil step mothers. However the fairies I had imagined were so different from the fairies I met in the book. Apple tree man, Li'l Pater were so unimaginable . Altogether I loved the story and the graphics.
So who is there to say fairies don't exist ? Maybe, anything is possible💛
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