It is with great pleasure I share this review of The Heart Stone Chronicles: Part 1, The Swamp Fairy, by Author Colleen M. Chesebro.
But first, let us go back over two years ago, when I first met Colleen in Fall 2014. Her blog was then called “Silver Threading.” She introduced readers to The Swamp Fairy. Here is an excerpt:
“It was a warm morning in November the first time I saw the swamp fairy. The fog curled around the tops of the trees and the autumn breeze smelled of fragrant flowers, even though the early frost had killed all the wild flowers. I inhaled the intoxicating fragrance and peered into the dense foliage near the road. It was a lovely peaceful morning.
I was out for my regular morning walk. I had taken the narrow back road behind Blackberry Ridge where I lived. This morning I could hear the chirping of birds, as tiny bugs hatched on the warm autumn wind, buzzed about my head. I saw something darting about in the underbrush. At first I thought it was a bird. Whatever it was it made a pleasant humming sound. The humming had a mystical quality to it.
My heart started to beat faster as I approached the bushes. I could barely see her she was so tiny and brown. She blended right into the dead and frost browned leaves hanging from the branches…”
And the legend of the swamp fairy was born!
How many of us have had visions or have seen supernatural beings? I saw a UFO once…but, that’s for another post…or not. My point is we all have abilities to be in touch with the supernatural, whether or not we believe in it.
I was entranced by the notion that she saw a fairy. She deftly hooked readers about the swamp fairy and built the lore of the Naiad nymphs even then. She wrote numerous posts that gave readers an intimate and fascinating view of her creative process as she began to write her book.
From the Author:
The book reveals the story of Abby Forrester, a 14-year-old orphaned girl who is entrusted with saving a community of fairy nymphs from certain ecological destruction. Along the way, Abby learns about friendship, love, and what it means to actually belong to a family.
Colleen’s writing explores ecological situations in the multicultural world of today. She combines real-life historical events into her writing to create experiences that will continue in the hearts and heads of her readers.
Here is my 5-star review:
The story centers around Abigale, a young teen uprooted from Chicago to live with her aunt in Florida. Insecure about starting over, she is already aware of her uncanny psychic abilities but is reluctant to understand her mother’s legacy, left to her in the physical form of a green calcite pendant. Surrounded by friends and extended family, she uncovers a complicated and unlikely destiny and fights hard to preserve it.
Imagine being new in town and holding on to startling secrets—the ability to telepathically communicate with animals, as well as the swamp’s very treasures—the sacred calcite stone, the rare, pink sundew plants, and the fairies. Explaining these revelations to anyone would certainly make Abby more of an outcast than she already feels.
One can’t help empathize with Abby as she navigates through her own insecurities while discovering her growing strengths and staying true to the fierce love for her friends, family and, of course, the fairies.
Chesebro’s characters are carefully crafted and lend relevance to the story as it unfolds. The town’s welcoming teenagers who quickly befriend Abby are artfully tempered against the bullies who treat her with disdain.
Even if fantasy is not your genre and fairies aren’t your “thing,” they make a minimal appearance here, but enough to generate the lore around which the hub of this charming story revolves.
Chesebro’s setting of the swamp area in gulf-coast Florida is deftly and descriptively written where readers can feel the humidity of the warm sunny days as well as hear the buzz and hum of the insects associated with the South.
The author includes her own haikus that also set the tone for each chapter. “A foggy sunrise, winding a path towards day, the sunlight triumphs.”
The story moves along at a quick pace with a satisfying ending that sets up the plot for the next book in the series. Although this book is geared toward teens and young adults, I recommend this book and series for anyone who cares about the environment, relationships, and real family values.
I look forward to reading Colleen’s blog, Colleen Chesebro, Fairy Whisperer, as she hopefully shares again her creative processes as the next story unfolds.
The book is available in paperback and Kindle formats on: Amazon.
Find Colleen on Goodreads.
I am one lucky blogger to know so many of my peers who are writing and have written books in a variety of genres. Are you a blogger with a story to tell? Let this blogging community be an encouragement to you!