Book review: A Dreadful Fairy Book by Jon Etter

A Dreadful Fairy Book

I started reading this book on a Tuesday evening. In the first chapter we meet our heroine Shade. She is devastated after her house burns down and all of her precious books are lost in the fire.

I immediately put the book down. This wasn’t the kind of book that I wanted to read after a tiresome day of work, laundry and giving the cat too much food. This was something that I wanted to binge-read with a cup of tea. Only pausing to make more tea and picture the wonderful (or dreadful) fairy world that Jon Etter has created. Despite being hooked from the very fist page, I had no other choice but to wait until Saturday.

I’ll try not to give too much away in this review but I’m going to tell you briefly what it’s about. Shade leaves the village of Pleasant Hollow in search of books. Most other sprites in the village are astonished but happy that she’s gone. They have never left the safety of Pleasant Hollow and they’re not very fond of reading either.

In this new world Shade meets all kind of creatures. Trolls, hobgoblins, brownies, pixies, a knight who could easily have had a main role in Arthurian legend and even the Sluagh. Spoiler alert: all of them are quite dreadful.

My favourite parts

I had many favourite parts but these two had me laughing out loud and are too funny not to mention.

First of all there’s the troll whose duty it is to threaten everyone with his awful claws and teeth if you cross his bridge. Unfortunately for the troll, he prefers to read Pride and Pixies, dream about going on a well-deserved vacation and a nice cup of tea.

Another one of favourites is when Shade meets the terrifying Questing Beast who sometimes looks like a cute, little, white fox. This questing beast prefers drinking coconut milk instead of being the fearsome beast that it’s supposed to be.

Some more thoughts

What I loved about this book is that while you’re being transported to this fairy-tale world you will also be rolling in laughter. It’s packed with hilarious jokes and funny references to literature.

While this book is primarily written for children (who might not get these references) the writing style, jokes and the narrator who has an opinion of his own, together with a refreshing and creative take on some well-known creatures from folklore is what makes this book a book for ‘readers of all ages.’ It’s also a perfect book to read aloud to children.

A lot of the characters speak with a certain accent. This can sometimes slow the pace of the novel down but it’s also exactly one of those things that would make it great to read aloud!

Most of you probably know that I’m addicted to everything that has to do with folklore and the fairy-tale world and I think that ten-year-old me would have loved being introduced to folklore by reading this book. I think it might also make children curious and eager to find out more about brownies and pixies.

The characters in this book might be dreadful but they will definitely not disappoint the reader! I’m very happy that there’s a sequel to this story and can’t wait to read and review Another Dreadful Fairy book.

Follow Jon Etter on Twitter and check out his website here. You can order his book here. Don’t worry, it’s not an affiliate link. 😉 And as always, don’t hesitate to call me out if I have made any mistakes!

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