The Elfin Child
by Philip G. Bell
This is a children's fantasy story that follows a boy recovering from illness in the city and sent to the country to stay with his Aunt during the school holidays. Whilst playing in a nearby wood, he meets an Elfin boy of the same age. Although initially wary, he eventually allows himself to be drawn into a parallel world , full of strange creatures. He also discovers that prophecies foretold that he would save this world from a dire fate. The book was originally written for children from around the age of 9 years and up, but has proved popular with teens and adults.
The Elfin Child is exactly what I always want a children's fairy tale to be. There are elements that are comical, magical, scary, and captivating. This book put me back in the imaginative mindset of a child.
Once upon a time...
An eleven year old boy is sent to his aunt's house for the summer to toughen up his body and mind. While there, an Elfin child talks to him in the woods and brings him into the realm of the elves. He is told of this prophecy in which a human child saves the elfin race from the evil Voros, a Bogenvalk, who is destroying all the mythical creatures one race at a time. In order to fulfill the prophecy he goes on the adventure of a lifetime through this fantasy world with the elfin child as his guide.
The characters in this book are so loveable and definitive of the fantasy genre. The boy himself is written as the typical protagonist of most children's fantasy books; starts off weak and picked on and through his adventures, strengthens himself physically, mentally and emotionally. He is very childlike and it is so easy to stay in the mind of a child throughout the book which is why I think I found this book so enchanting. The elfin child himself is almost intimidating at first because he is very haunting. But then you realize he is just playful and mischievous like woodland creatures should be. The elves remind me a lot of hobbits from The Lord of the Rings. Each chapter of the adventure we meet a new character who personifies significant traits of fantasy characters.
The writing is very interesting. It is written for kids with reading disabilities who can't focus or process a lot at once. So every page is broken into short paragraphs with gaps between them. There are also some dialogue that is either all capitalized or bolded. This serves to allow the mind to process short amounts of the text before moving onto the next. I actually found this style to be extremely helpful for me and I don't even have a ready disability. This book is a gateway for children to be welcomed in the genre of fantasy. It has stories and characters in it that remind me of famous fantasy stories like Labyrinth, Spirited Away, The Odyssey, and The Lord of the Rings. Yet this book remains very childlike and it left me smiling.
4 out of 5 stars, middle of the bookshelf, lovely book that reminded me of the magic of your imagination.