*Swift by R. J. Anderson

A young piskey girl searches for truth as danger threatens her home and loved ones.

*Swift by R. J. Anderson. Enclave Publishing, 2020. 272 pages.

Reading Level: Young Adult, ages 15 and up

Recommended For: Ages 15 and up

Ivy loves the Delve, but she struggles to belong. Ever since her mother disappeared, life has been difficult. And why must others pity her? She might have been born without wings, but she is just as much a piskey! And more than other piskeys, she hates the mysterious spriggans who took her mother years ago. When more piskeys begin disappearing from the Delve, Ivy is too stubborn to sit back and do nothing.

R. J. Anderson brought faeries to modern England in her first trilogy, No Ordinary Fairytale. Now she continues in the world of Knife, but moves to the Cornish coast of England. Here a community of hard-working piskeys live and mine below-ground, while mysterious spriggans haunt the surface. Anderson is an excellent storyteller, and the world of Ivy comes to life as do the characters and personalities in Swift. With themes of friendship, family, and community, there is more to this story than just a once-read tale. Previously published in the UK, Swift is now easily available to American readers. You’ll want to pre-order its sequel, Nomad, as soon as you finish Swift. Good news for you, it’s coming out next month, and having read the UK edition, I can tell you, it’s just as good!

Considerations:

  • How are R. J. Anderson’s piskeys different from the faeries of folklore and fantasy?
  • If you research Cornwall, what does its folklore tell you about the region and the people who lived there?
  • As a character, Ivy physically doesn’t fit in with the other piskeys due to her lack of wings —compare her emotions with a character in realistic fiction who doesn’t fit in. How is this an accurate portrayal of a character with “disabilities”?

Note: This reviewer received an advance reader copy of the book in exchange for a fair review. 

Overall Rating: (5) out of 5

  • Worldview/Moral Rating: (4.5) out of 5
  • Literary/Artistic Rating: (5) out of 5

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Hayley

Born in a library and raised by books, or rather, raised by a book-loving family, Hayley loves talking and writing about books. She lives in the middle of Wisconsin and works with children as well as with coffee.

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