Author: James Fahy
Publishing Date: December 23, 2015
Publisher: Venture Press
Isle of Winds is a children’s fantasy novel for ages 7-12, and is the first book in the Changeling Series by James Fahy. Similar to the styles of Narnia, and The Lord of the Rings, I can honestly say that I was pleasantly surprised by how much I genuinely enjoyed this book! Due to my love for mythology, my excitement for anything fae (a term for fairy) related, and the promise of a unique coming-of-age fantasy, I was intrigued from the very start.
Our journey starts through our introduction to the young protagonist, Robin Fellows. That being said, it isn’t long before Fahy picks up the pace, and takes us on a ride! When Robin experiences the trauma of his grandmother’s death this twelve year old boy is now thrust into a completely new world – literally. He’s placed in the care of a complete stranger, his now guardian, whom we know as Aunt Irene, owner of Erlking Hall. Robin’s life is quickly turned upside down as he begins learning that he is no ordinary young boy. He discovers that he’s not just Robin Fellows of the human world, but is actually a Fae, a natural born member of the Netherworld.
In his journey to discover himself, and find his place in this new-to-him world, he uncovers that he is a changeling, and to be even more specific, he is the last changeling. Now he must pursue the truth at all costs, learn of his ancestry and the magic that comes with it – and since that’s not enough for a twelve year old to manage, he must save the Netherworld.
From the interaction with an elderly man at the train station, to magic shards that build the most powerful weapon in existence, Fahy kept my attention from cover to cover.
The Netherworld, long lost home to the Fae people, has been taken over by the fierce tyrant, Lady Eris. While Robin is making new friends, finding himself, and studying the art of magic, he learns that his purpose in life is to use his unique position for the greater good by delivering the Netherworld back into the hands of the Fae people. With the fate of the Netherworld in his hands, seven Towers of Arcanian magic to learn, and the normal hormones of a twelve year old boy, does Robin have what it takes to save the Fae?
In reading this book, I was pleasantly surprised by the “easter eggs” that Fahy hid in plain sight. I began noticing little things early on, like a satyr named Phorbas who was clearly similar to the Greek God Pan. After discussing things with Fahy himself in an interview, and doing my own research, I soon realized that each name was directly linked to another influence. Phorbas, for example, is actually a part of Greek mythology, and is known for having saved a young boy from a cliff, and tutoring him. That being said, it would make sense for Phorbas to become Robin’s tutor!
Fahy scrutinized his own work to refine it to near perfection. He included special information and tie-ins for all the geek readers, myself included, and developed a unique world that is unique to itself. He’s dedicated to this series and has just released book number 2. We will journey through all seven towers of the Arcania by the end of book seven, and I’m sure there will be plenty of easter eggs still to find.
Fahy not only kept my mind going with incredibly vivid imagery, but kept my heart pumping with well-developed and well-written characters. I, personally, fell in love with Woad, so much so that I hope to create/find fan art of him.
When we entered the book, Robin was weak, innocent, an confused; Karya was frightened, running for her life, and determined; Woad was a pestilence, but adorable all the same; Irene was stern and not personable; and Henry was just a young and excitable boy. All of those things changed by completion of book one.
Robin was stronger, open-minded, and eager to learn; Karya was happy, and determined to win this war; Woad was still irresistibly adorable, but was now clearly sassy, rather than annoying; Irene was kind, and growing into a softer person; and Henry was ready to take on the world by Robin’s side! There were so many unique attributes that made all of these characters stand out.
By the conclusion of this book, I was immediately ready to begin the second one. I’ve been irrefutably drawn into the Netherworld, and am now adamant about knowing the next steps taken to destroy Lady Eris’ empire. Thank you James Fahy for thrusting me into a new world of adventure and mythology, for introducing me to these characters, and even for crashing me into floating mountains!