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Phantasia by Dary Meredith

A Mystopian Faerie Tale 

Phantasia has been rewritten and is now listed elsewhere.


A novel, no longer online

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Listed: Apr 2, 2009

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Editorial Reviews

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entertaining, but a little rushed

By A. M. Harte, editor, author of Theatre of Horrors

Sep 19, 2009: Phantasia is a faerie, but she is a faerie unlike any other; she is unique, both in looks and in magical skills. Brought up by water faeries, always feeling a little misplaced, Phantasia struggles to determine who she is and where she belongs. This search for her identity ultimately leads her to a high school on Earth, where she begins posing as a student.

The author has clearly put much thought into world-building, particularly how the faerie domain differs from the human one. I like the differences between the various elemental faeries: water faeries are logical and able to read minds; fire faeries are passionate warriors; and so on. There are even differences in architecture, for example the water faeries’ home is filled with ankle-deep water.

What was disappointing was that all these interesting aspects about the faerie world are mentioned in passing, and never given enough depth. Chapter 1 ends with Phantasia deciding to visit the other faerie queendoms, but Chapter 2 begins with Phantasia’s return to the water faerie home. It is subsequently mentioned how much her journeying has helped Phantasia grow, and not having seen that growth first-hand is frustrating for the reader.

The prologue is confusing, and the first two chapters are perhaps misleading, as they give the reader an expectation that this will be an adventure story, not a school one. This transition would perhaps have been less jarring if the adventure scenes (a big battle, a search for the world’s axis) hadn’t been so rushed; the difference in pacing between the first two chapters and subsequent ones really highlights the shift in genre. It seems as though the author has so many ideas about what can happen next in the story, that each idea is not explored to its full potential.

The characters are a little difficult to connect with emotionally, which is possibly because Phantasia herself has problems identifying with those around her. Phantasia is well-characterized, but the story would benefit from giving secondary characters a little more depth. It doesn’t help that certain plot points (such as one of the faeries acting mysteriously) are just dropped as soon as Phantasia becomes involved in something else, without any indication that it will be picked up again in the future.

As for the writing itself, I think it could benefit from a little more emotion and suspense; the reader hardly ever feels concerned for the main character because the evil aspects are glossed over and the action scenes lack tension. For example, Phantasia herself, despite her protected upbringing, seems unmoved when witnessing a large-scale battle.

There are also a number of grammar and spelling mistakes, particularly punctuation errors. There are also some oddly constructed sentences which can be distracting.

The website itself is pretty, easy-to-navigate, with eye-catching artwork, so no complaints there.

Overall: despite the various problems I’ve mentioned above, Phantasia is an entertaining read. The setting is particularly intriguing, and I think the author would do well to dig a little deeper and expand on all the ideas, rather than rushing through them.

5 of 5 members found this review helpful.
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Most Helpful Member Reviews

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By Sora, member

Jun 16, 2009: Summary: Phantasia is a faery "princess" living in the logic ruled society of the Water Queendom. The Queendom goes to war with a rogue queen who succumbed to the powers of darkness. Phantasia receives a mysterious tattoo from the Prince before he meets a tragic end. Now it is up to Phantasia to travel the world and learn more about herself and her mysterious past.

Likes: The concept of faery queendoms was pretty awesome. Very rarely do we get a true matriarchal society. The different queendoms follow vastly different practices. For example, the water queendom is governed by logic, whereas the wind queendom is more free-spirited. Humans seem to have an irreversible impact on these queendoms and humans are seen as corruptors (funny how that theme turns up in a lot of fantasy. But I digress). Phantasia wonders if the paranoid fear of humans is warranted as no one she knows has ever met a human before. Humans are equally afraid of faeries as well. The theme of ignorance is written about pretty well without being too heavy-handed. When humans do come into the story, things become a little less extraordinary, but still interesting. There’s a hint of something sinister going on.

Dislikes: The prologue was a little odd and the beginning was a little strange. A lot of things that should be interesting were glossed over. For example, in chapter 2, it is mentioned that Phantasia went to various Queendoms and learned a lot of their culture. This sounds very interesting to me, but we only get it in passing not as a scene, which is a little bit frustrating as a reader. The writing is a little rough and has a few odd phrases here and there that don’t detract from the overall story as a whole, but they do distract within their various situations. The sinister things going are always seem to be glossed over and things end a little too conveniently for our heroes.

Overall: I didn’t know this was a school story. It seems like this story might be directed to a younger audience. At any rate, it’s an entertaining read and does pass the time. It’s not one of my favorites in the genre, but it is something I’d continue to read. Maybe not as often as the more well-known stories, but I definitely may pop in every now and again to see what’s happened to Phantasia and her friends.

7 of 7 members found this review helpful.
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