Monday, March 18, 2013

Review: The Gold Dust Letters by Janet Taylor Lisle


While searching for her fairy godmother, a young girl uncovers a world of magic
It starts with chocolates. Dreaming of a box of chocolates that never empties, Angela writes a letter to her fairy godmother asking for one. To her surprise, the fairy writes back! A letter appears on her mantelpiece from “Pilaria of the Kingdom of the Faeries,” written on ancient parchment with purple ink, and covered in a gold dust that vanishes as soon as it flies into the air. Is this really a letter from the land of magic? And if so, what does it mean? Angela and her two best friends begin investigating the mystery, searching Angela’s house for clues. But out of the blue, more letters appear on Angela’s mantelpiece. Pilaria is lonesome, and as curious about the girls’ world as they are about her kingdom. What they learn from their correspondence with this enchanting godmother will change everything they know—about magic and reality—forever. This ebook features a personal history by Janet Taylor Lisle including rare images and never-before-seen documents from the author’s own collection.

I enjoyed Julie Kagawa's The Iron Fey series, and I usually like fairy stories so I thought this might be interesting.

In The Gold Dust Letters, Angela writes to her fairy godmother and unexpectedly gets a reply from a fairy. She tells her friends who are skeptical about her story and together they decide to see what's really going on.

This story had some really nice elements. The idea of writing to fairy godmothers and the fairy writing back was a great starting point. However, the fairy part of the story isn't really the most important thing about the plot. It drives the story forward and leads to an interesting conclusion and opens up the path for sequels to the book. The most surprising thing about this book, I think, is how family plays such an important part in the plot and the characters' growth. I thought that made the book more interesting and elevated it to being more than just another fairy story.

However, I wasn't as wowed by the story as I thought it would be. I can't put my finger on it exactly, but it feels like something was missing. I guess it was mostly because I couldn't really relate to the characters. Except for Angela, who was the main focus of the story, I didn't really feel like I knew the other girls. For example, even though Poco's penchant for talking to animals was stated time and again, I didn't really know anything else about her. Perhaps if the book had been a little bit longer, I might have been able to get to know the characters more and become more invested in their adventures.

Thanks to NetGalley and Open Road Young Readers for the e-ARC.


  1. Family plays a big role in the story.
  2. It's a fresh take on fairy stories.
  3. There's a lot of potential here.


  1. The book feels a little bit too short.

They tasted the strawberries and sipped the golden liquid (it was honeyed lemonade).

  1. You like fairy stories.
  2. You don't necessarily believe in fairies, but you do believe in magic.
  3. You like stories about family.




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