At 19, Auris Afton Grieg has led an…unusual life. Since the age of 15, she has been trapped in a sinister prison. Why? She does not know. She has no memories of her past beyond the vaguest of impressions. All she knows is that she is about to age out of the children’s prison, and rumors say that the adult version is far, far worse. So she and some friends stage a desperate escape into the surrounding wastelands. And it is here that Auris’ journey of discovery begins, for she is rescued by an unusual stranger who claims to be Fae – a member of a magical race that Auris had thought to be no more than legend. Odder still, he seems to think that she is one as well, although the two look nothing alike. But strangest of all, when he brings her to his wondrous homeland, she begins to suspect that he is right. Yet how could a woman who looks entirely human be a magical being herself?
Told with a fresh, energetic voice, this fantasy puzzle box is perfect for fans of Terry Brooks and new listeners alike, as one young woman slowly unlocks truths about herself and her world – and, in doing so, begins to heal both.
What I Love
I loved the first half of Child of Light, in particular. The story develops slowly with just the right amount of action and intriguing kernels of suspense strategically placed so that the story never loses momentum. It’s an excellent introduction to Auris Afton Grieg, who has no memories of her life before being jailed in the Goblin prison and allows for character development in a nearly impossible situation.
Auris tells her story in first-person narration, and this adds to the character development as well. Auris’ head is easy to be in, and I found myself developing empathy for her just because I knew what was going through her head – her emotions and reactions to events and people. Her instant relatability allowed me to quickly understand the support characters as she introduced them in the story. Though I saw them as she sees them, her reactions are often very telling and accurate to that character.
The second half of the story felt like it took a giant leap, and though disconcerting to me as a reader, I loved the new and improved Auris in that half. The action in the second half becomes very intense and takes over the story. That’s fitting, though, considering the whole fae world is in danger. I enjoyed the world-building in this part of the story, as I got to see more of the small details of this realm within our own. The water sprites, in particular, have some cool gadgets and are so incorrigible that they are instantly fun to read about.
And, yes, there is a romance. I found the pairing of Auris with the elf who saved her from the goblins, Harrow, to be a natural development in the situation of the story. However, something about the elves’ description made it challenging to see a human-elf pairing. Still, I often found their relationship touching and relatable.
Auris is the main character and narrator, as I already mentioned. She is strong and determined even at seemingly insurmountable odds. She is just the type of main character who easily captures my heart and makes me want to know her story.
What I Wish
I wish there had been a way to better transition between the story’s first half and the second half. I would have loved for it to be a more natural jump that didn’t jar me out of the world I was happily engaged in. It would have made the book longer, but I think the extra pages would have been worth it.
Reminds Me Of
If you have read any of Terry Brooks’s previous works, you can easily tell this is one of his stories. His writing style and small details give that away. I don’t think that is a bad thing, though. It made me enjoy the story even more.
To Read or Not to Read
Child of Light is an action-packed story set within an immersive and delightful world that only Terry Brooks could imagine and paint for the reader in vivid detail. I’m delighted that I had the opportunity to enter this world and imagine that any lover of fantasy stories will agree with me.