When Beth and Chris move to a new town with their parents, they don’t expect to find their rambling old house infested with supernatural beings. Now in addition to adjusting to a new school and new friends, they have to learn to navigate through a world of fairies, imps, and wiggins- some of whom may be playing for higher stakes than they realise.
The Solstice Conspiracy gets off to a bit of a rough start, with character descriptions dropped in awkwardly. The pace at which new elements are introduced doesn’t allow for building atmosphere or letting the reader settle in.
This story is intended for middle-grade readers, and at first it seems like Rawn is going to undersell her audience with a sappy, run-of-the-mill fairy story. But the plot soon gets much darker and deeper than that. Taken as a whole, the book becomes something that is suitable for its target age but also engaging enough for adults.
Once she settles into the flow of the story, Rawn’s visual descriptions are gorgeous and immersive. The book is heavily centred on the natural world, and she illuminated the detail and beauty in what most writers would dismiss as background. This expertly painted setting surrounds the reader with a realm of magic.
The only major problem I had was that Evelyn’s storyline was critically under-developed, making her role in the story feel like little more than a plot device. She could have been a fascinating character, and I would love to have seen more of what was going on inside her head. I also found the resolution of her relationship with her mother unconvincing.
The Solstice Conspiracy is a lovely and inspiring story for both children and adults. I think my seven year-old will enjoy very much in a few years. It is a beautiful tribute to the magic of nature.
Title: The Solstice Conspiracy
Author: Lee Rawn
Genre: Fantasy, Children’s
Publication: October 18th, 2011; Lightspeed Publishing, LLC
Price: $2.99 (Kindle, Nook), $11.89 (paperback)
Author’s Website: http://leerawn.com/