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Item - The Fairy Kidnap

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(Original edition)

Combined Summary

Series: Choose Your Own Adventure - Dragonlarks
Choose Your Own Adventure for Younger Readers — no. 29
Alternate Title: The Fairy Princess Kidnap (reissue)
Translated Into: Im Wald der Geister (German)
El rapte de la fada (Catalan)
El rapto del hada (Spanish)
Author: Gilligan, Shannon
Illustrators: Newton, Keith (Dragonlarks reissue)
Wing, Ron (Original edition)
Dates: Unpublished (Dragonlarks reissue)
August, 1985 (Original edition)
ISBNs: 0553153420 / 9780553153422 (Original edition)
1933390581 / 9781933390581 (Dragonlarks reissue)
Length: 54 pages (Original edition)
Number of Endings: 8
User Summary: The princess of your fairy tribe has been kidnapped, and you must help rescue her!
Demian's Thoughts:

This is a somewhat unusual entry in the series -- while you might expect the book to cast the reader as a child who somehow gets involved with fairies, this adventure instead allows the reader to actually play as a fairy. The result is a brief but satisfying fantasy adventure with a clear objective, surprisingly harsh consequences for failure, and decent internal consistency. The "younger reader" format doesn't allow a lot of room for detailed backstory or lengthy exploration, but this serves as a nice condensation of the fantasy quest format for its target audience, and it's definitely above average for the series.

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KenJenningsJeopardy74's Thoughts:

A single phrase to describe The Fairy Kidnap? I'd choose this one: pure adventure. No philosophy or pathos, just a variety of exciting scenes. You are a member of the Deeny O'Shee, an Irish fairy tribe. Your beautiful life in the Light Forest is disrupted one day when Princess Morgana goes missing. The king of Deeny O'Shee suspects an enemy tribe, the Tuatha de Danaan, of taking his daughter, but he can't dismiss that humans from a nearby settlement may be guilty. Two search parties are dispatched, but which will you join?

Inside a gnarled tree deep in the Dark Forest is the Tuatha castle. You go with a group of fairies including your cousin Illsap, but the entrance is heavily guarded. When a commotion draws the guards away, will you take advantage and sneak in? Exploring the mazelike castle interior, you might fall through a trapdoor and be separated from Illsap. Trapped in the dungeon you'll meet a Fir Bolg, member of a fairy race that supposedly went extinct a century ago. The elderly Fir Bolg may be able to get you out by teaching you a spell to put the guard to sleep, or you can attempt a bribe using your gold belt buckle. Once you're free you'll have to find Princess Morgana in a hurry before armed Tuathas put an end to your adventure and life. There are other avenues to the princess if you don't fall through the trapdoor: you and Illsap might wind up hiding in a closet as guards hunt for you. Don't underestimate Princess Morgana if she breaks free of captivity behind the golden door; she might end up saving you.

Joining the search party headed for the human settlement teams you with your friend Tortenu. At a celebration fair in town, you see that humans have captured Bachod, a Deeny O'Shee fairy who disappeared days ago. A fairy's red cap makes them invisible to humans, but Bachod must have dropped his; the adults have a firm grip and are teasing him while some boys play with his cap. You could race home for a replacement cap, but when you spot a horse on the way there who claims to know where Princess Morgana is, will you trust the steed or complete your mission to rescue Bachod first? Maybe you'd rather just swipe the red cap from the obnoxious boys, but a sudden injury to Tortenu jeopardizes that plan. Weigh your options carefully, or the humans will end up with more than one prisoner.

The Fairy Kidnap is a rollicking good time that uses its limited space to spin an adventure closer to a full fantasy roleplay than any other book in the Bantam Skylark series. The story paths don't feel short, and the fairy mythology is relatively well-developed. Ron Wing was the right choice for illustrator; what other Choose Your Own Adventure regular could render the fairy castles and other spaces better? I don't rank this book as high as Stranded!, Spooky Thanksgiving, Jungle Safari, and maybe a few others in the series, but it performs at an elite level compared to most Bantam Skylarks.

More reviews by KenJenningsJeopardy74

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Known Editions

Dragonlarks reissue
Original edition

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