Brigitta of the White Forest, by Danika Dinsmore

Brigitta of the White Forest, by Danika Dinsmore (en theos press, 2011, middle grade, 211 pages) is a fairy book for those who are ready to leave behind those first fairy chapter books of the Rainbow Magic ilk, and move on to something more substantial. It's the story of how a faerie girl, Brigitta, must save her people when they are turned to stone by malevolent magic. Brigitta and her little sister, Himalette, are the only ones left still alive of their whole community, and so it is up to them to seek out Hrathgar, the only faerie who might be able to reverse the magic. But Hrathgar was cast out beyond the pall years in the past for working malevolent magic of her own, and she is probably the very one who cast the stone spell...

The two faerie sisters set out in the wild unknown, with only luck and courage to guide them...and Himalette's lively curiosity proving something of a handicap. Fortunately they enlist the help of a mysterious wise-woman and her giant rodent-esque companion, but can the be trusted, and will their help be enough to defeat Hrathgar? Especially when it turns out that Hrathgar is much more complex a force than they had reckoned with?

The greatest strength of the story is the relationship between the two sisters, with Brigitta constantly torn between concerned affection and exasperation--I'd particularly recommend this to readers with little sisters of their own! The story telling is full of small touches of world building that make it clear the story is set in an enchanted other-place; a veteran reader of fantasy might not find this world wildly original, but the young audience for whom it is intended should be fascinated by the munshmins, sand petals, shadowflys, and all manner of other curious plants and creatures. I myself liked the nice attention Dinsmore pays to the destiny markings that appear on faerie wings when they come of age. And the narrative flows smoothly and briskly, leading to an interesting (although slightly confusing) conclusion, which comes with a generous dollop of danger and adventure.

I wouldn't particularly recommend this one to adult readers of middle grade fantasy, mainly because I didn't think it brought anything remarkably new and powerful to the table, but as I said above, I think this would be a fine choice for the nine year old-ish girl who loves stories full of fairy magic and who is just beginning to find her reading feet in the world of longer fantasy books.

Technically this isn't being released till March, but it's available now. And Book 2, The Ruins of Noe, is on its way....

(Review copy received from the publisher)


  1. This looks like one my daughter would enjoy.

  2. Hoping to get this one read today! I'm interviewing Danika in March. Thanks for the review!

  3. I'll look out for your interview, Deb!

    And yes, Brandy, this would probably be a nice one for her.


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