The Invisible Order: Rise of the Darklings: A Chick Lit Wednesday Review

Rise of the Darklings by Paul CrilleyOn the day she found out about the the fey and the hidden war being waged in Victorian London, twelve-year-old Emily woke up praying for snow. Snow would mean that she could stay home with her brother William instead of running through alleys and side streets to get to Mrs. Hobbs to buy a bunch of watercress to sell for the day.

But there is no snow and Emily does have to venture out. Unfortunately instead of a day spent peddling watercress in the cold, Emily stumbles upon a faerie battle right in a London alley.

Emily would love to forget about what she saw and go back to her normal life even if life as an orphan is hard. But the faeries won’t let her forget them–not until she gets them something they desperately want. Even if Emily could do that, there’s The Invisible Order to contend with. A secret society meant to protect humans from the fey, the Invisible Order wants Emily to work with them instead.

Everything Emily knows is soon turned upside down and she has no idea who to trust besides her friend Jack. But can two children possibly rescue Emily’s brother and save London before it’s too late? Emily doesn’t know that answer yet, but she knows she has to try in Rise of the Darklings (2010) by Paul Crilley.

Rise of the Darklings is the first book in The Invisible Order trilogy.

Crilley combines traditional elements from fairy tales (gnomes, giants, piskies, and even a famous wizard) with a well-realized, completely evocative London setting. The plot is well-written with enough twists to keep readers (and Emily) guessing along with humor and action in spades.

Rise of the Darklings truly has it all: action, adventure and faeries all in the beautifully realized setting of Victorian London. Throw in a determined and clever heroine, fast talking characters like Jack and Corrigan,  well-dressed gnomes and you have all the makings of a spirited start to a wonderful trilogy.

Possible Pairings: Gideon the Cutpurse (AKA The Time Travelers) by Linda Buckley-Arhcer, The Amulet of Samarkand by Jonathan Stroud, Leviathan by Scott Westerfeld, The Mysterious Howling by Maryrose Wood, Dealing with Dragons by Patricia C. Wrede