Black Winged Fairy

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Black Winged Fairy

Last Free on: 2nd Dec 16
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...There's a gem of a story in here trying to get out, but the grammar and spelling issues are a show-stopper...

The fairy Madella is arrested and tried for the death of her sister, who fell on a twig during a game of tag. While her sister struggles to recover in a healing cocoon, Madella’s wings are turned black and she is exiled from Fairyland with a Lesson Book – a book that only true lessons can be written in – until she has learned her lessons.

The Black Winged Fairy has a good plot, and some nice ideas, let down by poor proofing and erratic formatting. The presentation is very well done. There are colour illustrations at the start of most chapters, in the same style as the cover, and the font is clearly readable.

There are a few odd style choices in the text. Speech is not indicated by quotes and does not start on new lines. Instead shouting is indicated by All Caps for shouting and later on in the book, there is nothing to distinguish speech from normal text. This does make it difficult to read, and very hard to tell who is speaking. The crier’s call of “Oyez” (phonetically “Oh Yay”) is misspelled as “Oh Yeah”, making the court opening unintentionally funny.

What really lets the book down is the grammar. There are a few typos and spelling errors…no, let me correct that, this book is crying out for a proof reader. For example, one page contains the following: Fairy’s instead of Fairies, “lied in wait” instead of lay or laid, “Judge Hornblowers gown”. The grammar is unfortunate: the lack of commas results in the classic “eats shoots and leaves” style of error, and apostrophes for the possessive are almost universally absent. These errors occur regularly throughout the book, and it is a shame because so much effort has been taken with the overall presentation.

Characters like the Toad Judge (Horatio Hornblower – really?) and the King are nicely presented, and the overall plot is good. There are a few issues, for example as fairies don’t die as such it rather undermines the tragedy of the event and adult readers may find themselves wondering why they have a death penalty if no one dies… In some ways the themes – murder, and self-discovery – seem too old for the age group this type of story is normally aimed at, making it hard to find an audience to recommend it to.

There’s a gem of a story in here trying to get out, but the grammar and spelling issues are a show-stopper. Readers with more patience than me, or people reading to younger children, may like it.

Currently it’s a two at best. Revise the editing and get someone to proof-read it and the ranking will go up.

Rating: 2
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porridge (8 March 2017)
Doesn't matter how great the story is if ya can't read it!

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