Goodreads helps you keep track of books you want to read.
Start by marking “Spell Hunter (Faery Rebels, #1)” as Want to Read:
Spell Hunter (Faery Rebels, #1)
Enlarge cover
Rate this book
Clear rating
Open Preview

Spell Hunter

(Faery Rebels #1)

3.97  ·  Rating details ·  5,064 ratings  ·  523 reviews
Forget everything you think you know about faeries. . . .

Creatures full of magic and whimsy?

Not in the Oakenwyld. Not anymore.

Deep inside the great Oak lies a dying faery realm, bursting with secrets instead of magic. Long ago the faeries mysteriously lost their magic. Robbed of their powers, they have become selfish and dull-witted. Now their numbers are dwindling and the
Hardcover, 336 pages
Published April 28th 2009 by HarperCollins Children's Books (first published January 1st 2009)
More Details... Edit Details

Friend Reviews

To see what your friends thought of this book, please sign up.

Reader Q&A

To ask other readers questions about Spell Hunter, please sign up.
Popular Answered Questions
Amanda Both. It was released as Spell Hunter in the US and Knife in the UK (with a far more attractive cover, I might add). Wayfarer (US) and Rebel (UK) are …moreBoth. It was released as Spell Hunter in the US and Knife in the UK (with a far more attractive cover, I might add). Wayfarer (US) and Rebel (UK) are the same, as well, but the rest of the books were never published in the United States. You can get them on Book Depository if you're interested.(less)
Prophecy of the Sisters by Michelle ZinkEyes Like Stars by Lisa MantchevWings by Aprilynne PikeThe Forest of Hands and Teeth by Carrie RyanThe Season by Sarah MacLean
2009 Debutantes
58 books — 412 voters
Catching Fire by Suzanne CollinsCity of Glass by Cassandra ClareBlood Promise by Richelle MeadHunted by P.C. CastEvermore by Alyson Noel
Books for 2009
582 books — 2,410 voters

More lists with this book...

Community Reviews

Showing 1-30
Average rating 3.97  · 
Rating details
 ·  5,064 ratings  ·  523 reviews

More filters
Sort order
Start your review of Spell Hunter (Faery Rebels, #1)
Mar 27, 2008 added it  ·  (Review from the author)
I am shockingly biased in favour of this book.
Oct 30, 2008 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: signed-books
Another fantastic debut novel! This book was just full of awesomeness. I absolutely loved reading it! The plot was something totally different, which was beyond refreshing! No faery courts, good vs. evil, life sized fae in the book. This is the type of faeries that I had always imagined hiding amongst flowers.

The characters were extraordinary. Knife was so fascinating. Such a complex character. She really made this novel. And the secondary characters were just as outstanding. They were almost as
Aug 23, 2008 added it  ·  (Review from the author)  ·  review of another edition
Re-read for galleys of the new US paperback and e-book edition, coming July 21st from Enclave Publishing. Happily, I still love this story and enjoyed reading it -- sure, there are a few changes I might make to the prose on a line level, but not in any way that would substantially alter the book. Which, eight years and eight more books later, is a pretty nice feeling to have.

* * *
Original review:
I wrote this book, so naturally I love it. :)
Knife was cute. Really cute.

The story starts with Bryony, a fairy of the Oakenwyld. They live in a big old oak tree and are forbidden to go outside, because humans are dangerous, especially now that they’ve all lost their magic. That’s right: all fairies were robbed from their magic and lost their creativity. When Bryony, now Knife, is appointed as the Queen’s Hunter, she meets a human being. Paul. Thus begins a truly beautiful friendship that will change the Oakenwyld forever.

Let me just start
Mar 19, 2013 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: completed-series
I found the fifth book in the series, which is more like the second book to a companion duology so I was only going to read the 'fourth' book but was like 'why not go back to the beginning?' and thank goodness I did, because I'd forgotten just how perfect this series is.

First off. Look at the covers. They're everything. EVERYTHING. No cover will ever be so wonderfully magical and dark ever.

I've always loved fairies and Knife is like a dark version of Tinker Bell and Pixie Hollow, with the usua
Sep 09, 2009 rated it it was amazing
I will always think of this book as titled "Knife" as (full disclosure) I knew it in some of its earlier stages. However my friendship with and love of this book's author does not at all account for the voraciousness with which I consumed it. I had it in my possession for many months and due to a crazy schedule only opened it last night: a bias in favor of the author's success does not at all account for staying up much too late with it, trying to read it while I was driving (!), using one hand ...more
Sherwood Smith
Jul 08, 2009 added it
Shelves: fantasy
Bryony is a young faery, impatient with being cooped in the old oak where her sadly diminished and isolated community lives. When she's apprenticed to the community's Hunter, she uses that as an excuse to spy on the humans who live nearby, in spite of many warnings and even threats from her cautious faery elders.

How she meets the human boy Paul, their relationship, and why the community is the way it is makes up an absorbing, quick-paced tale full of laughter and real emotional depth. I would ha
Oct 22, 2020 rated it liked it
I don't generally do stories with fairies in them, but this was a good one. ...more
Shannon (Giraffe Days)
Apr 04, 2009 rated it really liked it
There aren't many faeries left in the Oak. Since the Sundering, the only faery with any magic is the Queen, Amaryllis, and the old skills have been lost. The Silence is killing off faeries, but no one knows what it is or what causes it.

When she was a young faery, Bryony was adventurous and yearned for the outdoors - a place she was never allowed to go. So she is shocked but excited to be apprenticed to Thorn, the Queen's Hunter, whose job it is to protect the Oak and hunt squirrels and other sma
Feb 15, 2010 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Orinally posted here.

Knife by R.J. Anderson was published as Spell Hunter in the US and is the first book in the Faery Rebels series. I got the UK edition because I think it looks much better than the US one and the UK covers for all the books in the series match. The picture below doesn't do the cover justice because it's a lot nicer in person - the blue stands out against the black and the print is shiny. I've heard a lot of good things about this book, especially from Sounisians because I
Katie Grace
Oct 17, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Aww, this book was like a blast to the past. I used to read fairy stories all the time, so it felt like I was eight years old again. Even though it's not my type of book anymore, it was still a cute and quick read. *happiness* ...more
Rachel Neumeier
Sep 07, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I finally tried this book, and yes, it is a delightful story, one that turns the concept of the fairy story somewhat on its head.

In Knife, the fairies are classic garden fairies -- little female sprites with dragonfly wings who live (this particular colony) inside a large oak tree in the back garden of a prosperous estate. Only these specific fairies are in trouble: a generation or two ago, they lost nearly all their magic and they’ve been declining in prosperity and devolving culturally ever si
Aug 03, 2012 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Pretty much everyone who knows how to read...

A very gripping and charming adventure. I absolutely loved reading it!

Okay, I'll admit that if it wasn't for Isa I probably wouldn't ever have picked this one up...
Lets face it, the cover _although beautiful _ seems more middle school oriented than ya.
Well, let me tell you, The cover..."lies"!

The writing in this story is so captivating that even during this re-read it still managed to capture my attention. Not only that, but I've got the feeling that this second time around, the read was ev
rating clarification 4.5

Be prepared, this book is awesome !!

I've only read three book during this past month and I am ashamed.. but glad I haven't sunken to my routine of not reading ANY books at all!!
Which is why it took so long for me to finish this book.

I am not sure if it was my lack of interest of reading this month has driven me to read this book agonizingly slow or that this book simply had a quite slow development.
But nonetheless, I cannot explain how glad I am to have continued readi
Feb 11, 2009 rated it really liked it
This was a fun faery story with faeries that are more like what I imagined traditional faeries to be like, but not quite. Yeah, I think the line in the book synopsis says "Forget everything you think you know about faeries" is an apt description.

This book builds from beginning to end. At the start, I thought it was a cute middle-grade story that I'd be interested to share with my girls when they got older. By the end I hooked and wanted to know for myself what was going to happen with Knife and
Tracey Dyck
Jan 07, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition

It was better than I remembered! A few random thoughts (because I don't feel like writing a full review):

-Some aspects reminded me of Disney's Pixie Hollow. :)
-The plot felt a tad thin in places, but maybe that's because I subconsciously remembered some things about it from reading it years ago.
-I liked Paul more than I did the first time.
-The book had interesting things to say about art, creativity, and the nature of inspiration and relationships.
-The twist was not exactly what I expec
Knife is the only child in the Oak. Her people are slowly dying out, with little magic and too few numbers to sustain themselves. But Knife refuses to just survive, like her elders do. First she becomes the Queen's Hunter and then...she strikes up a friendship with a Human.

Paul is giving in to despair after an accident took the use of his legs, but his contact with a tiny fierce fairy gives him new hope and artistic drive.

The beginning and end of this book aren't that impressive or novel, but th
Tricia Mingerink
This is a cute faery story and a very quick read. While the characters mentioned the "Great Gardener" sometimes, there isn't too much Christianity or allegory involved. It does deal with a few weightier topics such as suicide. Towards the end of the book, some of the faery's culture was a little weird, but not too weird for me.

Overall, a good book and I'm eager to read the next one.
Nemo (The Moonlight Library)
R.J. Anderson’s Knife tells the story of a headstrong, wily young faerie named Knife and her adventures as she attempts to unravel why her faery people no longer have any magic.

Knife is a very difficult book to review. I liked some things about it and I disliked other things, and it kind of left me feeling ‘meh’. In fact, I borrowed this from the library to listen to the audiobook (and it had a FANTASTIC British narrator, Emma Parish, whom I loved and want to kidnap and force her to read all my
Jun 19, 2009 rated it liked it
Shelves: ya
I don't generally review many middle grade novels, but I had read several lovely reviews of FAERY REBELS: SPELL HUNTER--a debut middle grade fantasy novel by R.J. Anderson--and then was lucky enough to receive a copy from the lovely Ms. Anderson herself. Interestingly enough, the same book has been published in the UK under the title KNIFE, with dramatically different cover art. The changes in title and artwork make it clear they're marketing it to a slightly older young adult audience over the ...more
Miss Clark
This book was a charming delight! The Faery culture that Anderson has created was unlike anything that I had encountered and exploring it with Knife as she seeks the truth about the Sundering that stole her people’s magic and the plague that is now slowly but inexorably killing them was just the sort of adventure I wanted.

The Faery society is foreign. The niceties and emotions we take for granted are unknown to them. They lack creativity. They have no understanding of such concepts as love, frie
Jan 20, 2009 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I've wanted to write a super-duper review for this book, but I just can't find the words to describe how fabulous it is. I admit I'm biased-- I've known RJA for years, and fell in love with her writing with her fan fiction. I've been privileged to help with the editing process on this novel, but I hadn't read the most recent revision until this was published. And it was amazing. I've always been a fan of fairy tales, and this one is a classic-- and yet, it isn't. It's both familiar and unfamilia ...more
Deva Fagan
Jul 06, 2008 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: 2008-read
I found lots of things in this marvelous book: a compelling adventure, a nuanced world, and engaging mystery, and a sweet and occasionally heart-breaking romance. Most of all I found two characters to love: Bryony (later Knife) the faery, and Paul, the young human who becomes her friend.

I loved seeing the worlds of both faeries and humans through Knife's eyes. I read eagerly as she pieces together the clues to understand the deadly affliction upon her own people, and struggles to understand the
Jan 13, 2009 rated it it was amazing
what an absolutely delightful read. you always know when a book has found its way into your heart when you are filled with regret when the story is over. faery rebels is a middle grade novel--a genre i have not read in some time--but it is a book to be enjoyed by all ages.

knife is a fearless faery intent on finding out the truth of her people's past, when she befriends a human friend, paul.

with evocative prose and wonderful storytelling, anderson slowly unravels the mystery behind the faeries' u
Anna Mussmann
Jul 24, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I would never have expected a story about tiny winged fairies to be so satisfying. But this one is. The author is able to create a convincing world and to tackle meaningful questions about friendship and love without becoming pedantic.

It’s typical for stories of this type to pit adventurous young characters against their elders, but although the book uses aspects of that trope, the protagonist also learns that the adults are more intelligent and nuanced than they seemed initially.

The book could
Ehh, this is one of those books I was liking fairly well until the end. It just got too complicated. (view spoiler) ...more
Best friend is someone you like to be with. Someone you can talk to about anything, and count on to help you whenever you need it.
No ordinary fairytale...
Says the caption on the UK addition, titled Knife. Doesn’t that caption ring a haunting bell? Doesn’t it make your stomach churn with absolute dread? Doesn’t it turn you off completely? It does. It truly does. That is why I feel this book is so underrated; because readers have heard of this phrase, and know that it lies. This won’t be different from the other fairy books. There’ll be a court of human-sized fairies who don’t have wings and basically aren’t fairies, and the
Denisa C
Jan 08, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: owned-books
I had a rocky start with this one, but due to the love Claudia has for it and the fact that the story was really interesting, I am glad I end up finishing it and really loving it.
This is a story about faeries, badass faeries. I have never read about fairies, as main characters, at least I don't remember reading about them.
This is quite a nice start. The way it is written and explored makes for a fun, quick, I might say, and amazing read.
The characters grow on you as the book progresses, at le
« previous 1 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 next »
topics  posts  views  last activity   
What's the Name o...: Small Fairy who lives in a tree falls inlove with human boy [s] 7 64 May 12, 2014 05:56AM  
This Book Rocked 7 41 Oct 09, 2013 10:52PM  
This book Rocked 1 8 Apr 13, 2011 11:26AM  

Readers also enjoyed

  • 13 Treasures (Thirteen Treasures, #1)
  • The 13 Curses (Thirteen Treasures, #2)
  • 13 Secrets (Thirteen Treasures, #3)
  • Stones To Abbigale
  • Queenie
  • The Summer King (The Chronicles of Faerie, #2)
  • The Illustrated Mum
  • The Hunter's Moon (The Chronicles of Faerie, #1)
  • Blackbringer (Faeries of Dreamdark, #1)
  • Lily Alone
  • One Wish (Thirteen Treasures, #0)
  • Diamond (Hetty Feather, #4)
  • Shell
  • Warrior Reborn (Silver Fox & The Western Hero #1)
  • The Declaration (The Declaration, #1)
  • Ragged Wolf (Dragonfly & The Glass Swallow, #3)
  • Sweet Hearts: Ice Dreams
  • I am the Great Horse
See similar books…
R.J. (Rebecca) Anderson was born in Uganda, raised in Ontario, and has spent much of her life dreaming of other worlds entirely. She is the author of ten traditionally published fantasy/SF books for children and teens, including the UK-bestselling faery romance KNIFE. Her new Flight and Fire Trilogy begins with SWIFT and NOMAD in Aug/Nov. 2020, ending with the brand-new novel TORCH in February 202 ...more

Other books in the series

Faery Rebels (3 books)
  • Rebel (Faery Rebels, #2)
  • Arrow (Faery Rebels, #3)

Related Articles

Sarah J. Maas is an author who almost needs no introduction, at least in the world of young and new adult fiction. She's a multiple New York...
220 likes · 27 comments
“I'm just a little cold," said Knife, pulling the blanket closer about her shoulders.
Paul wrapped his free arm around her. "It's all right," he said. "I've got you."
"Yes," said Knife, smiling up at him. "You have.”
“Reluctantly she lifted her eyes to his, and he went on: "I want you to understand this as though I were one of your own people." He drew in a deep breath. "Thank you. Thank you for your friendship. Thank you for my life.” 18 likes
More quotes…