Bantam Skylark, $2.25, ISBN 0-553-15342-0
Now, don’t cringe. Imagine that you are the six- to eight-year old kids that The Fairy Kidnap is aimed at. Or maybe you like fairy things and buy prints and miniatures of those things to display all over your abode – that will do too.
So, you are a fairy. You’re a Deeny O’Shee fairy, to be precise, and you love happily with your kind in the Light Forest somewhere in Ireland. Across the River Twee is the Dark Forest, home of the mean Tuatha de Danaan. Trouble begins when someone has kidnapped Princess Morgana, and your king decides to cover all bases by forming two groups of scouts. One group will infiltrate the human settlement to look for the princess, while the other will go knock on the Tuathas’ doors. You have the choice to join one of these groups, and from that point, your adventure begins.
This is a campaign for young kids, so there is nothing too gory here. Just death by drowning, being stabbed fatally by Tuatha guards (complete with an illustration of those guards charging at you), and being manhandled by giant-sized humans (at least in comparison to fairy folks), along with some happy endings. In other words, this is a fun adventure. While on the whole this is a short affair, with only a few story lines among the options here, the story lines are actually pretty coherent and good for something aimed at tykes. Making sensible choices generally leads to good results, and making dumb ones often leads to painful and even fatal consequences, and there is never a “dumbing down for kids by talking down to them” vibe throughout it all.
Also, the secondary characters aren’t annoying at all – some are even useful – and they have decent traits to make them memorable. Even the princess isn’t some damsel in distress, but rather, a pretty kick-ass lady in her own right.
All in all, this is one of the better entries for young kiddies out there. It makes fairies almost cool, and that’s a feat. Now, if only things didn’t come to an end so soon…