I received this book for free from Netgalley in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.The Feral Child by Che Golden
Genres: Fantasy, Middle Grade
Published by Quercus Pages: 273
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Maddy, an orphan, is sick of her Irish town, and sick of her cousin Danny, one of the nastiest people you could meet. Mad as hell one evening, she crawls inside the grounds of the castle, the one place she has always been forbidden to go. Once inside, she is chased by a strange feral boy, who she suspects is one of the faerie: cruel, fantastical people who live among humans and exchange local children for their own.
When the boy returns to steal her neighbor Stephen into his world, Maddy and her cousins set off on a terrifying journey into a magical wilderness, determined to bring him back home. To do so, they must face an evil as old as the earth itself.
Che Golden has created a gripping adventure that interweaves Maddy’s modern Irish experience with the vivid fantasy of the region’s ancient folklore. Readers will enjoy the frank and bold heroine of Maddy, and will be dazzled by The Feral Child’s evocative rendering of Irish folklore and richly imagined alternate worlds.
First Thoughts: An interesting fantasy story for Middle Grade readers.
The Feral Child is about a young girl Maddy who has had a bit of a hard time. Her parents died and now she has been forced to move from England to Ireland. Ireland is her homeland but it’s not her home and she doesn’t feel like she belongs. Though she doesn’t go out of her way to try and make it feel like home, but she is a grieving child.
She loves to hang out at a castle ruin where there is a mound that is suppose to be a faerie mound. She doesnt believe in those stories and doesn’t understand why her Granda doesn’t want her hanging around it. Then one day while she was there a boy tries to kidnap her but he didn’t look like a normal boy and she gets away but he shows up later at her home during the night. He wants her to come and play but she refuses and then she sees him take the neighbors little three year old.
When her Granda wouldn’t help her try and get him back and tells her there is nothing she can do, she gets mad. Her Granda can see faeries and so can Maddy and faeries don’t like it when you can see them. So he is afraid for his young grandaughter and she doesn’t understand the price that might be paid for spying a faerie.
Maddy decides to go and get Stephen back herself and goes to the mound and while on her way her cousin Roisin and Danny meet up with her. Whether they wanted to or not they are now on a trip to the faeries because they were there when she goes in. It’s not a great place to be and you never know who you might be able to trust. When the Queen finds out they are there she makes a bargain with them, but it could turn out be very dangerous.
For a middle grade story I thought it was interesting and a little dark at times as these were pretty evil faeries. My favorite little faerie creature was the dyrad (Fionn) and she had a little crush on Danny so that was cute. Some times I thought the story line was a bit out there for young readers as it seemed like those kids made it through some really iffy situations that an adult might not make it through but I know it’s fiction for a reason.
The parts I didn’t care much for was the main character Maddy was just a little bit to much of a brat at the beginning and I couldn’t stand her at first at all. I understand that she was going through a hard time but still she was horrible, but as they go and get Stephen she starts acting better. Also her cousin Danny who was so mean to her all of a sudden it was like he did a 180 with his attitude once they are chasing faeries. It was just a little strange.
Overall, I thought it was interesting and that young readers might enjoy it. If you have a young reader who is not into scary situations then it might not be for them. (being chased by wolves and evil faeries, etc)