Domnall and the Borrowed Child

March 13, 2017 at 5:00 pm (Reads)

domnallDomnall and the Borrowed Child by Sylvia Spruck Wrigley


Many of the novellas I’ve read lately have been heavy, thoughtful pieces about real issues. I like that sort of fiction. Story is still king, so the issues have to work in service to the issues, and there’s nothing that annoys me more than a book that is more issue than story. If I have to choose between the two, I will always choose story.

Domnall and the Borrowed Child isn’t about issues, but it’s a well-told story that doesn’t let go once you begin reading. Domnall is an old, crotchety fae creature who is sent out to find a baby to swap with one of their own ill children. Mother’s milk is the only thing that will cure the child, but with fewer and fewer of their own kind brave enough to go into the outside world, it falls on Domnall to make that journey.

Wrigley’s storytelling is natural and approachable. Her characters are fully realized, and the relationships she creates between them are believable. It’s a light story, but the threats are real, and the consequences serious, so you wind up reading to make sure that everything will turn out okay in the end. These are the best kinds of stories. There were a couple of anachronisms in the dialogue that pulled me out of the story — I’m not convinced that “Catch up with you later” is a phrase used by the fae — but they’re minor quibbles.

The story ends with enough unanswered questions to make me hope that this is just the first in a series. I’d like to see more adventures involving Domnall, not just because of how this novella ends, but also because of how well this story is written. Domnall and the Borrowed Child is one of those stories that’s just a delight to read.


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