wicked & wonderful

A quick read, and an utterly charming one. For lovers of faerie stories, Susanna Clarke fans, & those looking for a new read-aloud.

wicked nix coverWicked Nix by Lena Coakley w/ illustrations by Jaime Zollars

Abrams, 2018. Hardcover, 160 pp. Juvenile Fiction, ages 8-12

Wicked Nix, foulest of the fairies, is not about to let a man-people move into the abandoned cottage. The forest was the territory of fairies and Wicked Nix is worried what the Queen will say when she returns from Summer Country for Midsummer’s Eve. He’s already worried he had displeased her in some way. He doesn’t know why she left him behind, but he’s not going to allow it to happen again.

wicked nix interior
‘cottage’ illustration for Wicked Nix by Jaime Zollars

The man-people is stubborn, and well-armed in how to repel fairies. Between tricks and theft, Wicked Nix seeks the advice of Mr. Green and Rose the Wise. Mr. Green (the Green Man) who helps him survive the forest. Rose (a human girl in the village) who offers counter-magic and encouragement.

wicked nix interior 2
‘Wise Rose’ illustration for Wicked Nix by Jaime Zollars

Wicked Nix is hard to talk about without giving too much away. It has an underlying sadness, but its pluck is consoling; and that some magics are more powerful than others. Those familiar with faerie lore will especially appreciate Wicked Nix, but it isn’t required. Lena Coakley knows her craft and all you need to find is the book and sliver of your day.

line clipartI mentioned fans of faerie lore and Susanna Clarke. Also, recommended for readers of classic adventures like Peter Pan or Pinocchio; it also brought to mind the more recent Matilda Woods’ novel The Bird, The Boy, and the Coffin Maker.

Lena Coakley is the author of Witchlanders and Worlds of Ink and Shadow. She concentrated in creative writing at Sarah Lawrence College and now lives in Toronto. 

Jaime Zollars is inspired by fairy tales, Flemish painters, and flea-market photographs. Among other things, she is an illustrator of children’s books and book covers. She lives in Charleston, South Carolina.

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