As an apprentice fairy godmother myself, I took a look at how we are presented across the dividing line between Faery and Fiction. There are two kinds of godmother apprentices that authors write about: the deadly serious and the deadly frivolous.
First, we get serious with Baillie Albus, an orphan with nothing but her red cloak, no hope and little to look forward to in her life, except more nasty and brutish. Called to the forest and chosen as a fairy godchild, she is re-named Faenwich, and becomes the apprentice of the powerful Marimetsai.
Laura Briggs and Sarah Steinbrenner’s The Fairy Godmother’s Apprentice is the first book of the Dark Woods Trilogy, a YA fantasy that is dark, revealing the cold-bloodedness of the fae, and the restrictions that the enchantment places on even the most dominant fairies. The other godchildren have their own difficulties, so that Faen finds herself with no true friends, only to her mission to find her human and the trial that they will encounter. In this book, quest has just begun, now that she knows the exact price of magic. Like many trilogies, this part feels unfinished, as though I’m just to the inciting incident of the story, that changes the stakes and starts the rising action.
I’ll likely read the other two books in the series, as I like the writing, although it’s gloomier than my preferences. I like a happy ending, and to me, that means more than one you can walk away from. I also like more of a character arc, as Faen seems not to have much in the way of choices, magically or otherwise, to grow into herself, and she just keeps on keeping on. I’ve done enough of that too.
The world is well written with layers of conflict and characters to be revealed as the depth of the darkness is fathomed. I’m interested enough to see what wish Faen must grant, though it’s already clear what the price of the wish will be.
On the other side of the deadly fence is Georgia Rhodes, a player from the Fairy Godmother University trying to slide through her final exam with the juiciest bookkeeper on Earth. Cheryl Sterling’s The Apprentice Fairy Godmother is a steamy frolic about her escapades when her client, a guy who hasn’t been laid in years, bumps into her in the hall. Her chat-speak supervisor, who poofs in as a pink-clad teenybopper, says the switch is in for another godmother who has a mahjongg tournament, and Georgia just has to make the best of it—and pass the final.
Expecting a simple task, but armed with plastic, ridiculous credit, and full-tilt internet, she just can’t get her man off her mind, out of his suffocating mother’s control, or away from the meddlesome adolescent daughter who shows up on his doorstep after running away from the ex. It doesn’t help that he’s named Harrison Ford and built to match.
Georgia’s got everything to lose. Not only is her degree at stake, so is her family, her powers an d her very existence. But she just doesn’t take no for an answer, even if she’s supposed to say it, and it’s up to her to find her own way out of the mess. But she has more than one chance to enjoy the ride—lots of steam here for those who like sex as a spectator sport—definitely not for bright eleven-year-olds.
So now I can see that we older girls are still not part of the pantheon except as wise old harpies or valley-girl wannabes. But this old girl’s got more than one trick up her gossamer.
Maven, thanks for the review! I had a lot of fun writing about Georgia and Harrison.
Good luck on Maven Fairy Godmother. She’s down on her luck, but I have a feeling something special is in store for her!