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Publisher's Summary

Henry doesn't think he'll ever be able to get his mind off his parents' divorce. That is, until he meets Pyrgus Malvae, prince of the faerie world. Now Henry must help Pyrgus return home to fight the evil Faeries of the Night.

Best-selling author Herbie Brennan magically combines real-life London with the fantasy realm of faeries while delicately exploring such sensitive topics as divorce, politics, and sexuality.

©2003 Herbie Brennan (P)2004 Recorded Books

Critic Reviews

"[A] solid adventure [that will] keep listeners on the edge of their seats." (Booklist) "[Brennan] is a master of the hairpin turn, leading readers in one direction and suddenly reversing their expectations." (The New York Times Book Review) "Narrator Gerard Doyle does a remarkable job of bringing each character alive. He reads clearly with great enthusiasm and vibrancy, allowing whimsy and mischief to emerge. Fantasy readers will thoroughly enjoy this audiobook, especially fans of Artemis Fowl and Harry Potter." (School Library Journal)

What members say

Average Customer Ratings


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  • Overall

One of the best books I've listened to!

This is an absolutely gripping story. The characters are engaging, the plot is fresh, and Mr. Doyle is a talented narrator.

IT begins with the revelation of a lesbian affair between the protagonist's mother and his father's secretary. This may make some people uncomfortable. The protagonist muses later on about how adults try to protect children from uncomfortable truths, but that just makes things worse.

This is apparently the philosophy that the author holds by. If you disagree, you may want to reconsider purchasing this book. If you do agree, however, I heartily recommend this book for the honest and tasteful way that it handles the situation.

What struck me about the revelation of the lesbian affair was how frank and open everything played out. The assumptions and messiness of the characters' thoughts and emotions. The little details in conversations between parents and children that get all tangled up through multiple layers. The process of coming to grips with difficult situations.

But that is only a side story, and you're quickly sucked into the main plot involving parallel dimensions, conspiracy, and political intrigue.

The story cleverly incorporates many aspects of modern and classic mythology, including aliens, demons, and faeries. Even though these aspects are done to death elsewhere, here the author has managed to include them in a way that's fresh and new and altogether fascinating.

The characters are well formed, and the character development feels natural, although some aspects of the story seem a little bit silly.

That the best way for making strong glue, for example, is to throw a kitten into the mix seems a little out there. But I suppose it does set up the villains for the story quite nicely. You can't like anyone who kills kittens for profit, after all.

Overall, I highly recommend this book because of it's exciting story line, memorable characters, and the frank, realistic way complex situations are handled.

13 of 13 people found this review helpful

  • Overall

Fun and Entertaining

What a surprisingly fun book!

Well narrated, it started off completely different from what I was expecting from a book with Faerie in the title. By chapter two, I was confused about what was going on. By chapter three I understood what was going on and was very pleased.

The good guys aren't completely good, though they try hard. The badguys, on the other hand, are pretty much badguys, which usually bothers me. I generally think even evil people have something good to their character... but because there are a variety of badguys in this book, and they are each a different *kind* of badguy, there are varying tiers of evil which makes the badguys feel more three dimensional without the reader ever feeling a need to empathize with them.

Loved it!

9 of 9 people found this review helpful

  • Overall

Much better than expected...

I bought this book by mistake - normally I don't read fiction written for adolescents - but it turned out to be a decent listen. The narrator reads very well and for about 90% of the book you won't notice that it was written for kids. (In fact if it wasn't for the "Audible Kids" note at the first of the book I would never have known it wasn't written for adults.)

Most of the negative reviews said they have an issue with the "homosexual agenda" in the story. I kept listening for this "agenda" attempting to subvert my mind. It never happened. Homosexuality was merely used as a device to explain a divorce.

Apparently this is part one in a series of books but it definitely stands alone - the story and characters are wrapped up in the end so you're not left hanging.

I enjoyed both the story and the narration and would listen to more in the series.

13 of 15 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
  • Coral
  • Mississauga, Ontario, Canada
  • 01-18-07

Coming of Teenhood

If you where scary off by the review about the Faeries killing kittens I feel this needs clearing up a bit. There is VERY clear stated 2 "types/races" of Faeries in this story: Faeries of the Light and Faeries of the Night. If you have read older Fantasy Titles you might be familiar with the idea that sometimes Faeries are not nice, this is true in some cases in this story.

There is quiet open talk that 1) Some people are attracted to there own sex 2) Just because you've have kids doesn't mean that you aren't attracted to you own sex. 3) Not Everyone is law abiding as they might seem.

This is a story for older kids and teens if you feel that stories with Gay people in them are bad or wrong for your kids at this point stand clear but this is a very well written, enjoyable paced book. Personally I would guess that the Grade 6-7+ would really enjoy this but is also fun for adults looking for light story about coming into teenagehood.

17 of 20 people found this review helpful

  • Overall


Main story had promise but there were too many back stories all of which could have been their own book and it just distracted from the main story.

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
  • Performance
  • Story

great book, loved all the characters

I really enjoyed the reading of this audiobook, and I also have the print version. The narration was well done.
I really enjoyed the story line as well. Many other reviewers fail to see how any of Henry's stories about family life have to do with anything, and most people question the lesbian affair that his mother is having. I would like to be very clear on this point: there is no real portrayal or depiction of any lesbian love affair, only mention of it, with minute details. I personally don't believe that the knowledge of the existence of gayness is damaging to children. I enjoyed this glimpse into Henry's family life, as it let me get to know him and what he has to come home to, and sort of shows that there is turmoil on all fronts for him. It was interesting to see the way he deals with it all, and to see the contrast between the way he becomes a hero in the faerie realm, and how helpless to control anything that happens to his family in our world. I for one can sympathize with Henry's situation, not that my mother had an affair when I was growing up or anything like that, but that my parents made a lot of decisions that changed my life totally and I had absolutely no control over them because I was just a kid (I am speaking of divorce, remarriage, divorce again, overprotectiveness, etc). I suspect that others can relate to some of Henry's problems, as well as his outrage at some of the decisions his parents made in this book. I only say this because several reviewers wondered why the detail about his home life was there, and thought it came out of nowhere. I thought it was fine.
I thought the rest of the story was also intriguing as well, and got attached to many of the characters. I recommend this audiobook to anyone; it is very entertaining.

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

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  • Performance
  • Story

Don't mistake the name

Before I decided to read this series, I was a little intimidated by the name since it had "wars" involved, however, after reading many of the reviews I realized that I needed to just jump into this story and check it out. I was not sorry by far. I loved this story! I'm a little sad that when I got to the 3rd & 4th books, it changed narrators because I really love Gerard Doyle! The other author James Daniel Wilson takes about 30 minutes to get used to, especially because he calls Pyrgus differently from Gerard Doyle which can get a bit annoying. Per=gus to P-eye-gus kept throwing me off. I am annoyed that the narrators don't listen to the first couple books before they jump into a series and start calling the characters differently. It's just weird. So that's my only gripe.

Overall, the series is inventive and left me guessing to what would happen next, which I really love. I do recommend the whole series. Hopefully, the next series will have the same narrator please.

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
  • Lois
  • Parlin, NJ, USA
  • 04-21-07


A fantastic story of Harry Potter caliber! If you liked the Bartimaeus Trilogy you may like this one. The writing style is a bit lighter but it's packed full of action. Yes! I groaned when I got to the part about alternate realities. It seems to be the fashionable thing to use in fantasy writing. However, Herbie Brennan made it work. The kittens and adulterous affair are just minor catalysts for a even greater story about a prince fleeing for his life and the enemies that would harm him. It’s not so much a story about little flying people and woodland creatures, as it is a story about a magic realm, alternate worlds, and demons. I can’t wait to read the next one. Definately not something for a 6 year old but 11 year olds and up will like it.

5 of 6 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
  • Adam
  • Westlake Village, CA, United States
  • 01-25-08

Two good stories, maybe miss matched.

Faerie Wars is a solid book witch I enjoyed very much. The only odd thing is, for the first 15 minutes, I wasn't sure I was listening to the right book. Then for the next 15 minutes, I wasn't sure if I was still listening to the same book. I couldn't see how the two protagonists had anything to do with each other. But I gave it some time and really started to enjoy the story. The only reason I didn't give this book five stars is because I feel that the strange family drama really was a bit gratuitous and only made for a rocky start. It just never seem to fit well.

4 of 5 people found this review helpful

  • Overall

Good Story- Bad use of the pulpit

For the first 15 minutes (or so) I didn't know if it was the right story. This was a very detailed trip into the "family drama," of the main character, specifically adultery, homosexuality, divorce of his parents.

The next 15 minutes I didn't know if it was the same story. There is a very abrupt change of pace, story, and tone. The reader is taken into the fairie world without it being clear that's where you are, and there is no connection to the previous 15 minutes at all.

Finally, the story gets going. The adventure, the parallell worlds, the "alien" characters, they were all wonderful. The story is very well written and engaging, from this point on. The story was fun, adventurous, sad, and exciting. It has everything that a good adventure story needs to keep you comnig back for more.

Once it is all said and done, had to story started with Pergus' flight I would have given a 5 star rating. Instead, I gave the story 3 stars because I cannot follow how the "family drama" at the beginning has any real impact on the rest of the story. In truth, it has so little to do with the rest of the story that it comes off as nothing more than a pulpit to promote the homosexual agenda. Additionally, the transition from that storyline to the initial activity in fairy land is confusing and hard to follow.

11 of 16 people found this review helpful

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  • Overall
  • Julie
  • 06-04-08

Hooks you in and keeps you wanting to hear more

This was my first ever audio book and I wasn't sure how I would take to it after being a bookworm for so long. I needn't have worried - I was quickly drawn in. It was so well read, humorous and very easy to listen to. I couldn't wait to get back to it and when I wasn't listening I kept wondering what might happen next. The characters were extremely distinctive and well developed. I was hoping to let my nieces and nephews listen but I think the issues surrounding same sex relationships and divorce, touched on near the beginning, would really be for their parents to introduce them to (if they so chose) rather than me, so unfortunately I am keeping the book to myself. Highly recommended nevertheless.

5 of 5 people found this review helpful

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  • Performance
  • Story
  • Zak P.
  • 03-02-16

Brilliant Fantasy

Brilliant book, fantastic if you are in to fantasy, it's a shame that the whole series isn't on audible

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
  • Kassie
  • 04-07-13


Was gripping till the end and helped me get through the housework without getting too bored. Characters were amazing and I can't wait to listen to the sec one half :)

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
  • David
  • 01-10-10

One of the best

This is one of the best books I have ever read and I suggest read it. The whole collection is a massive treat for your kids. 5/5

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
  • Peter R
  • 08-08-09


I tried this book only because of a write up that it compared to the Artemis Fowl series. In reality the story bears little comparison. Brennan manages to create his own unique characters and universe. The story was entertaining, intriguing, and keeps you attention. Gerard Doyle does an excellent reading as well. Adults and kids alike should enjoy this. Fans of series such as Harry Potter, Artemis Fowl etc should enjoy this series. A big thumbs up!

1 of 1 people found this review helpful