Sometime around the 19th century, the faeries came to England. “Goblins and satyrs, gnomes, sprites and the elegant, spindly white beings with their black, black eyes.” The Smiling War between the humans and the fae was so-called because of the sheer number of grinning, white skulls it left behind in the fields. But in the end even the faeries’ magic was no match for the numbers of red-coated soldiers sent against them with cannon and gunpowder, and the remaining Hidden People were relocated to Bath, where they would live in slums, defeated and ostracised. After a time, they became simply another facet of England, living in the cities, “no worse off than the thousands of human poor that toiled by their side.” But the high faeries, the Sidhe, were by no means satisfied with their lot. They bided their time, plotting and patient.
I can hardly tell you how much I adored this book. It is without a doubt the best new young adult fantasy book I’ve come across this year, for a myriad of reasons. Rave Commencing: