Rereading: THE CHANGE-CHILD by Jane Louise Curry

Illustrated by Gareth Floyd

This is the second book in Curry’s Abaloc series, though there’s little to connect it to the first, “Beneath the Hill,” until the last few chapters.

Eilian is the daughter of poor farmers in central Wales in the time of Queen Elizabeth the First, but through a relative she didn’t know, Eilian discovers suddenly that she is in line to inherit a fine, large house and estate. That estate is coveted by another rich landowner, and he plots to have his son betrothed to Eilian, even though she finds the boy repulsive. Eilian and her grandmother decide to escape into the hills further south to Mamgu’s people on the edge of a dark forest. They call themselves the Red Fairies, but it seems they are mostly as human as anyone else, though gifted with music and other talents. On the way, Eilian makes a new friend, Goronwy, a boy who seems to have some uncanny abilities. When Mamgu tries to bargain with Eilian as a prize for her own people’s gain, Eilian and Goronwy must flee deep into the forest to his own people, the real Fair Folk of legend, but they have troubles and hardships of their own.

I enjoyed reading this again, but it’s a complex story with lots of Welsh names and poetry that takes a bit of work to follow. Still, recommended.

The Change-Child by Jane Louise Curry

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