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In the future, our world is a very dark place. You see, the faerie world has always lived in conjunction with that of our own. However, several years ago, war broke out between the two species, and now ours is left in horrible disarray. Machines and other such devices have been destroyed, unable to work properly. On top of that, the plants of the world have be made into vicious obstacles which attack humans whenever possible.
Liza is a teenage girl who lives in a run-down farming village located in what remains of the Midwestern part of the United States. All her life she has been taught by her father that magic is evil and brings about death. This is embodied by the fact that her new born baby sister, who is shown of having signs of faerie powers, is taken away by her father to die on a hill side. To complicate matters, her mother runs away soon after. However, sometime after this incident, Liza discovers she herself has these powers in the form of seeing visions. Frightened of what harm she might bring about, and what the villagers might do to her, she flees into the forest with her cat, Tallow, and her friend, Matthew, as companions.
However, after being attacked by some malevolent trees, they are rescued by a woman with magic abilities named Karin. Though she takes them to safety in a well-meaning town, Liza soon discovers that there is much more to the story of the war between the humans and faeries.
A 2009 young adult fantasy novel written by Janni Lee Simner. The first sequel, titled Faerie Winter, in a planned trilogy was released in April, 2011. There is also a short story set in the same universe called "Invasive Species", which can be read here.
- Abusive Parents: Liza's father.
- After the End
- And I Must Scream: Seers must be careful when delving into visions. Go too far, and they are stuck wandering in a fake world.
- Animorphism: Some magic users, like Mathew can change into animals.
- Big Badass Wolf: Matthew in his wolf form.
- Book Ends: The first and last chapters both start with "I had a sister once."
- Cheerful Child: Allie.
- Chekhov's Gun: Kate's mirror. Liza uses it to lead to group out of the faerie world.
- Cute Ghost Girl: Liza finds that her dead baby sister has been following her.
- Dead Little Sister
- Disaster Scavengers: Although circumscribed by the forests from being nomadic, Liza's and Allie's towns are still scavenging what remains from Before.
- Don't Go in The Woods
- Don't Make Me Take My Belt Off: Used by Liza's father.
- Everything Trying to Kill You: The plants were changed by the faerie during the war to become malevolent forces which attack people.
- The Fair Folk: The faerie in this universe are pretty much humans and can die just like us. However, they live longer and have white hair. Also they are not evil per se. The humans are implied to have instigated the war and the faeries were protecting themselves. In addition, their world is rendered completely unlivable due to the use of nuclear weapons.
- Fiery Redhead: Allie.
- Ghostly Chill
- Good Powers, Bad People: One of the big lessons Liza learns is that most magics cut both ways.
- Healing Hands: Some faeries/magic users, like Allie and Caleb, have the ability of healing others.
- Hero's Journey
- Incurable Cough of Death: When Liza and the others finally find her mother Tara she has developed one of these due to the radiation that plagues the faerie world. She gets better though.
- Infant Immortality: Averted with with Liza's sister.
- I Will Find You: Liza's search for her mother.
- I See Dead People: Liza
- Kindhearted Cat Lover: Liza.
- Loyal Animal Companion: Liza's cat Tallow.
- Magical Land: Subverted with the faerie world, which is ... not so magical by the time Liza reached it.
- The Medic: Assuming this position is how Allie is able to convince Liza and Matthew to let her join them.
- Memento MacGuffin: The Missouri quarter Caleb gives Liza, which her mother had given him, which leads Liza to her mother.
- Magic Mirror: Played with. Kate's mirror is not inherently magical, but, due to its reflective surface, Liza makes it into a portal using her powers.
- Missing Mom: Liza's mother, Tara. When Liza first discovers that she herself possesses magic, she goes out to find her.
- Older Than They Look: Karin and Caleb. Those born as faerie or possess their powers have a longer lifespan and also look youthful.
- Portal Painting: Kate's mirror.
- Seeker Archetype: Liza.
- Seer: Liza.
- Scavenger World: How Liza's town survives.
- Shape Shifter: Matthew's power.
- Shapeshifter Mode Lock: After Liza, Matthew, and Allie leave the latter's safe village, they cross a barrier of magic stones which causes Matthew to become stuck in his wolf form.
- Our Fairies Are Different
- Our Ghosts Are Different: Ghosts are shadowy figures unable to properly make it into the afterlife.
- Tagalong Kid: Allie.
- Trend Covers: Twilight variation.
- When Trees Attack: What happens when the faeries enchant the plants to attack humans.
- White-Haired Pretty Boy / White-Haired Pretty Girl: Those who have the power of magic in them have white hair. Liza, whose powers develop later, has her hair change, over time, from black to white.
- Voluntary Shapeshifting: For the most part, Matthew can change to and from his wolf form at will.