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Dandelion Fire

February 2, 2011

Dandelion Fire

By N.D. Wilson

Published 2009, 466 pages


This is the second book in the 100 Cupboards trilogy.  Henry York and his family continue their adventures in the land beyond the cupboards that Henry discovered in his attic bedroom.  The witch they thought they had destroyed re-emerges and a war between men, faeren, and wizards ensues. 


I’ve been putting off writing this review because I did not enjoy this book nearly as much as I did the prequel.  I was so looking forward to reading more of that great writing style in the second and third books.  Mr. Wilson….what happened?!  Dandelion Fire, though much longer, is missing so much of what the first book had: the inventive writing style, the originality of the plot, and the swift, easy pace. 

The story starts off great; Henry discovers a burn on his hand and undergoes a “change” that causes him to go blind.  A scary man in black sucks him and Richard through one of the cupboards and Henry wakes up strapped to a table and is about to be operated on.  Awesome.  But then confusion sets in and the story becomes extremely hard to follow.  It was wordy, and yet, didn’t use enough words to adequately describe what exactly was happening.  In a story about an entirely fictional land inhabited with faeries and wizards, the reader needs to be fully aware of what is meant by the characters’ strange language and strange habits.  I like strange people in strange surroundings, but I never had a clear picture of why they were doing and saying anything.  It was as though the author assumed we knew what was going on and didn’t feel the need to expound.  The reader was left guessing about too many things until the last 100 or so pages.  I’m all for suspense, but I didn’t know what the suspense was for.  I mean, yeah, the witch was sucking the life out of the land and they were racing against time to stop her.  I got that.  But so much happened that took away from that basic plot. 

And too many questions were left unanswered. Why, for instance, did everything disappear in Kansas?  Were the faeries good or evil?  And the wizards?  They were the attackers, so I wanted to hate them, but some of them seemed to have been overpowered by the witch so I felt sorry for them.  It was very difficult to find someone to root for.  And what is the deal with Eli?  He seemed like a complete ass throughout and yet everyone is sad when he dies.  And where exactly has Mordecai been this whole time?  Buried alive?  Wha???  And the most frustrating question of all—how did Henry get to be with his adoptive, indifferent parents in the “real” world in the first place?

This is the most disappointing sequel I have ever read.  I felt like I was being led on a wild goose chase that was too long and too confusing and when I finally found the goose, it was just a goose.  The debate for me now is whether or not to read the last book in the trilogy.  If I go by how I felt after the first book, then yes.  But after this sequel…I don’t know!


I wouldn’t honestly recommend this sequel to anyone I know personally, but I’m sure there are plenty of people who would enjoy this and be able to follow along better than I did.


2 boots

For More Information:

From → Book Treks

  1. Hmm, I didn’t have such a negative reaction but I understand a little of what you are getting at. I enjoyed all three books and think you should soldier on and read the third. Might as well finish the series, right?

    • Agreed….I will definitely read the third book. If it weren’t for your comment, I might not have! So thanks.

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