The Little Grey Girl by Celine Kiernan


Goodreads: The Little Grey Girl
Series: The Wild Magic Trilogy #2
Source: Library
Publication Date: 2019


Mup and her mam have defeated Mup’s grandmother and driven her from her castle.  Now, Mup’s family is moving into Witches Borough.  But not everyone is happy to see them.  Some fear the return of the old queen, and refuse to pledge loyalty.  Others are not impressed by the new ruler’s refusal to admit  her royalty or her willingness to forgive the witches who once terrorized all those who stood against them.  And one lonely grey girl is determined that the wrongs of the past should never, ever be forgotten.

Star Divider


The Little Grey Girl is an odd sort of middle book.  It is not quite a bridge book–a story that merely connects the events of book one and book three in a trilogy.  Nor is it quite a story of its own.  Rather , The Little Grey Girl is a reflection.  A reflection on the events of the previous installment of The Wild Magic Trilogy.  A great evil has been defeated and a new day seems to be dawning.  But who is worthy of forgiveness?  What should the future look like?  And should the past ever be forgotten? These are the questions that trouble the inhabitants of Witches Borough and these are the questions readers are asked to consider in The Little Grey Girl.

One  might have expected a different sort of book in a fantasy trilogy.  Mup’s grandmother, after all, is still out there somewhere, and ready to cause trouble.  Many authors would have focused on her attempts to reclaim the throne, giving readers plenty of fighting and a big battle scene at the end.  The Little Grey Girl still has fighting.  But it asks: at what cost?  Battles here are not glorious, but sad and troubling and wrong.  They are terrible wastes of life.  They are not something present just to create some drama to entertain the readers.

Not often do fantasy novels reflect on the nature of war and the ways in which a nation must struggle to overcome its past.  It is not always very interesting to consider practical questions once all the magic and the swordfighting are done.  It is, however, important, and Celine Kiernan highlights that fact as her work focuses on the question of memory.  How does a nation remember the wrongs of its past? And, if it does remember the pain and the sorrow, how does it move forward?

The Little Grey Girl is not the type of book to appeal to readers who desire nonstop action in their fantasy.  It is, however, the type of book to appeal to readers looking for hidden gems, those books that are just a little bit different and a little bit special. It’s the kind of book that settles in your heart.

3 Stars

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