Mary's Reviews > Arrow

Arrow by R.J. Anderson
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Feb 19, 11

Read in February, 2011

This series keeps getting better! In ARROW, we learn about Rhosmari, a young teacher and scholar from the Children of Rhys, a group of faeries. The Children of Rhys live on magical islands off the coast of Wales, and have forsworn all violence. But now their society is in turmoil. (Spoiler alert!)




On the mainland, a faery who styles herself the Empress has enslaved many, and is intent on attacking and destroying those few faeries - the Oakenfolk and the rebels - who resist her. In a previous volume, two young people - the faery Linden and the human Timothy - came to Rhosmari's people to beg for the stone of naming, which could free anyone who held it from the Empress's slavery. Rhosmari's friend Garan stole the stone and gave it to them. Shortly thereafter, Garan and many other young males left the islands, presumably to join the rebellion against the Empress. The Children of Rhys are afraid that they will have no defense without the stone. Against her mother's wishes, Rhosmari flees to the mainland, intending to find Garan and bring the stone back.


What follows is satisfyingly twisty. Rhosmari encounters several characters readers have met before, among them the faery Martin. Does he mean her good or ill? We meet the empress, as well, and, like Jadis/the White Witch, she is a satisfyingly horrid villain. Readers get to see how she treats her followers, and exactly where she gets her power. To give just one example of her villainy, we see her abuse of an innocent little pug and the dog's human owner. Rhosmari, smart and determined, schemes to right this wrong. She is a fascinating character - a committed pacifist, with a dark secret of her own, plunged into a war. We get to meet other old friends besides Martin, and to view them through Rhosmari's eyes.

If I tried to say much more, I would probably relate the entire plot! Rhosmari - who happens to be a brown-skinned faery (yay!) - is another admirable heroine, intelligent and principled. And this book is a must-read for those who enjoyed the earlier two books in the series. It could stand alone, but gains in depth if read in context.
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