Reviews for Rise of the Darklings

Booklist Reviews 2010 June #1
For the last two years, since their parents' disappearances, 12-year-old Emily has supported her younger brother, William, by selling watercress on the streets of Victorian London. Now she takes on a weightier responsibility: protecting him, and all humankind, from the magical creatures who live invisibly in their midst and those who dwell in the faerie kingdom below London but plan to emerge and conquer the city. A straightforward, kindly girl, Emily is ill-prepared for the duplicity and cruelty of her opponents, but with the help of friends, she sets out with determination to deal with matters she does not fully understand. Readers will empathize, partly because Emily is such a well-drawn, likable character and partly because they too may feel confused at times by the rival groups of power seekers, the large cast of characters, and the plot's many twists. Combining adventure, historical fiction, and fantasy, this fast-paced novel is the first in the Invisible Order series. Copyright 2010 Booklist Reviews.

Horn Book Guide Reviews 2011 Spring
After discovering she has "seer abilities," Emily gets tangled in a world of fairies and humans fighting to become masters of London. Although a tad slow at the outset, the book quickly takes off, gathering steam and momentum by pitting Emily and her motley group of friends against the factions of the fey world and the men who form the Invisible Order. Copyright 2011 Horn Book Guide Reviews.

Kirkus Reviews 2009 December #2
Ordering freely from the standard menu of story elements, Crilley dishes up a Celtic-flavored fantasy featuring two (supposed) orphans in Victorian London who go up against any number of magical creatures with help from a good-hearted young thief, a smart-mouthed 2,423-year-old piskie and a secret society of humans led by Merlin and Christopher Wren. In this trilogy opener young Emily has to solve a riddle ("More riddles. Why is it always riddles?" complains the piskie) to find the hidden Key to Faerie, and then to keep it out of the hands of the Dagda and his consort, the Queen, lest they use it to bring their conquering armies into this world. Fortunately the Bad Guys like to explain their evil plans, and also some of the Faerie folk like the world the way it is; the climactic struggle leaves the key in Emily's hands but sets up the next episode by casting her back to 1666 (the year of the Great Fire). A particularly resourceful heroine and some fuzzy lines between the sides set this apart (a little) from the crowd. (Fantasy. 11-13) Copyright Kirkus 2009 Kirkus/BPI Communications.All rights reserved.

Publishers Weekly Reviews 2010 September #1
Eventful without being action-packed, fully realized without being vivid, Crilley's Victorian fantasy reads like an athlete's qualifying round: one gets the sense he's holding back. Emily Snow is 12 years old and the sole support for her brother, William, since their parents disappeared. Sober and practical, Emily is an unlikely witness for a piskie (aka pixie) battle in a London alley, much less the rescuer of one small casualty. Her kindness pitches her into the intrigues between the Seelie and Unseelie Courts and their mutual hatred of the Invisible Order, a secret society of humans founded to hold back the incursion of faeries into the human world. Rational Emily is ill-equipped to negotiate this complex brew of motives and machinationsbut when it comes to getting things done, there's never a doubt that she's a match for the grownups. An edge of uncertainty, though, would give the narrative that bit of emotional engagement it lacks. The planned second volume in the Invisible Order series puts Emily in a world very unlike the London she knows, which could provide the extra spark her adventures need. Ages 10up. (Sept.) Copyright 2010 PWxyz LLC

School Library Journal Reviews 2010 October

Gr 5-8--This fantasy has all the right elements, weaving lore of the faeries, a classic quest, epic battles, a riddle, and a clever heroine into a fast-moving, suspenseful plot. Emily, 12, sells bunches of watercress to earn a penny or two to feed herself and her brother, orphaned when their parents disappeared a few years earlier. One morning, she is surprised to learn of a hidden war in the dreary streets of Victorian London. Emily is a True Seer, able to see the faeries. Corrigan, a pesky piskie left behind after the battle, involves her in the fight between the Seelie and the Unseelie, faeries in a war that began in 1666 with the Great Fire. Emily faces betrayal upon betrayal as she tries to save her kidnapped brother and figure out whom to trust and to help. Which group wants to subjugate humans, which one wants to coexist? And what are the real intentions of the members in the Invisible Order, a secret society that protects humans from the faeries? Emily must solve a riddle to find a magic stone that leads to a key to an underground London. Along the way she meets Merlin, learns she has been around for centuries, and discovers that her parents may be alive. Corrigan supplies some humor, while Emily's friend Spring-Heeled Jack provides intimations of a budding romance. Intricate and layered, with a rapidly moving plot and an appealing and resourceful heroine, this book will have kids eagerly awaiting the next installment.--Connie Tyrrell Burns, Mahoney Middle School, South Portland, ME

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