Friday, September 16, 2011

Guardian Of The Green Hill

AUTHOR: Laura Sullivan

PUBLISHER: Macmillan Children's Publishing Group

RELEASE DATE: October 25th, 2011

Hardcover, 304 pages.

Laura L. Sullivan has crafted a fine fantasy story with enough intrigue and adventure to keep young readers interested. The heroine, Meg Morgan, is a young girl coming into her own as the titular Guardian. The Green Hill is a place where humans and fairies coexist. The Guardian’s job is to preserve the fragile peace between the two societies. The job is more complicated than it sounds- fairies in this book are not sweet-natured Tinkerbell types. They are spiteful, mischievous, and childish, closer to the Irish version of fairies than anything from Disney.

Meg’s life is further complicated by Gwidion, a sinister artist whose accomplice is a talking goat. Gwidion’s paintings have the power to weaken and coerce their subjects. He comes to the Green Hill to paint a portrait of Phyllida, Meg’s great-great aunt and the current Guardian. The portrait is supposed to weaken Phyllida and put her under Gwidion’s thrall. Meg also has three siblings- Rowan, James, and the appropriately named Silly. Taking care of them in their parents’ absence causes more tension for Meg. They live with Phyllida, but many of the duties fall to Meg.

Through a series of encounters with supernatural creatures, Meg comes to accept her destiny. She battles Gwidion and comes to accept that Phyllida’s life is nearly over. Guardian Of The Green Hill is a fantasy book, but it is also a coming of age saga with which middle grades readers can identify. It is the second in a series by Sullivan, the first being Under The Green Hill (2010).

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