Published by Little Brown Books for Young Readers on February 4th 2014
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This full-color, illustrated companion novel to The Cats of Tanglewood Forest from two masters of modern fantasy is a captivating adventure about magic, family, and the power in believing in both.When it comes to fairies, Sarah Jane Dillard must be careful what she wishes for. She may have thought she wanted to meet the fairies of the Tanglewood Forest, but that was before she knew the truth about them. When Sarah Jane discovers a tiny man wounded by a cluster of miniature poison arrows, she brings him to the reclusive Aunt Lillian for help. But the two quickly find themselves ensnared in a longtime war between rival fairy clans, and Sarah Jane's six sisters have been kidnapped to use as ransom. Her only choice is to go after them, and with the help of several mythical friends--from the Apple Tree Man to a cat called Li'l Pater--she'll have to find a way to untangle herself from the fairy feud before she and her sisters are trapped in their world forever.
Seven Wild Sisters takes place many years after The Cats of Tanglewood Forest and follows Sarah Jane, the middle of seven sisters. On a dare, Sarah Jane meets Aunt Lillian, an old woman who lives down the road from their own home, and who lives her life doing things without electricity or plumbing. The draw to the old woman, her stories, and her way of life keeps Sarah Jane coming back often and soon she’s spending most of her spare time with her.
Aunt Lillian makes her money by selling ‘sang – ginseng as we know it – in town, but there’s a special process in which it takes time to do so. Everything changes the one day she send Sarah Jane to go and collect ‘sang. Sarah Jane seems to be doing everything right until the ‘sangman shows up, full of arrows and pleading for help from her. She withdraws the tiny arrows and takes him back to Aunt Lillian’s house, unsure of what to do.
What she doesn’t realize is that she has found herself picking sides on a war between the ‘sangman and the bee fairies, creatures she thought really were fairy tales until now. Thus the adventure starts and Janey finds not only herself but all of her sisters involved in the conflict. The illustrations in Seven Wild Sisters is beautiful and really helps tell the story of these magical creatures and the seven sisters who must figure out a way to stop the war.
I love the different sisters and their personalities, which both help and hinder them in what is going on. What DeLint has created here is another new fairy tale that I simply fell in love with. It was easy to let myself be taken into the world of the Seven Wild Sisters and forget about my own for the length of the novel. Being short and sweet, I felt this perfect for middle grade readers with enough enchanting fantasy and illustrations to make readers fall in love with the Seven Wild Sisters.