Thistle by Cathy Greco

Thistle is a fairy who considers herself to be plain and easily forgotten. When we meet her, her and her friend Zazz are talking about the upcoming ceremony. During this ceremony they will be tested on their flying skills and chosen by a guild to join. On their way to the testing they catch up with their friend Thatch and the three arrive together. One by one, those being tested took their turns. Thatch and Zazz performed well. Thistle seemed to have performed average but she still held out hope to be chosen by a good guild. After the testing was completed, those being tested lined up for the choosing. Guilds swarmed her friends and she looked on in anticipation. Finally, only her and two other fairies were left. To Thistle’s horror, the only guild still there was the servants’ guild. This was the guild she would unfortunately have have to join and Thistle was devastated. 

Here life in the servants’ guild changed drastically. There was a social hierarchy within the guilds, and hers was at the bottom. She wasn’t even allowed to socialize with anyone in her guild, and definitely couldn’t socialize with her friends. One night she was able to sneak away and had Zazz meet up with her. Zazz decided to also bring Thatch as a surprise. Their meetup was thwarted when two fairies of a higher class, and part of the ruling council, showed up at their meeting place. Ildray and Saris arrived at their meeting spot and attempted to convince them to go home. Thistle made up something about wanting to explore a factory created by humans so that the two junior council members wouldn’t know they were meeting up to socialize. Saris wanted to go with them even though her companion tried to stop her. In time, all 5 of the fairies made their way to the mysterious factory. Something inside drained them and did not allow them to fly. Saris took off on her own desperate to find a life source within the factory. The other 4 were left searching for her.

In their search they discovered something had changed in Saris. She wanted to touch the machines that could cause her harm. Eventually an explosion rang out and all of the fairies were injured.

Would they survive the blast? Would some or all of them die? If they survived Thistle fears that at the least, she would be banished. Her biggest fear was that her friends would be banished as well. The friends would eventually face a council court and come face to face with the consequences of their decisions. In facing those consequences they would eventually question the way things were done in her home. Perhaps the council wasn’t always right? Perhaps the social hierarchy wasn’t a very good way to run a community, particularly when it is so strongly enforced.

This story brought about thoughts of our own social classes throughout all of humanity. The second half of this book had all of my favorite parts. It was a joy to read. I have ordered it for my daughters to read. They are 10 and 12 years old and I will likely read it out loud to them at bedtime. This was a fun quick read and I look forward to more books from this author.

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