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April 23, 2020

The Fantastical Exploits of Gwendolyn Gray by B. A. Williamson ~ a Review

by MK French


Gwendolyn had helped to save her City, but it left its mark behind as well. She is angry and lost, and not very satisfied with how her City is now. When the Faceless Men return to menace her, she escapes to one of the Fae realms. It's dangerous there as well, and Gwendolyn has to learn how to control her magic, rediscover Sparrow and Starling, and then save those she has grown to love.

Amazon affiliate links are used on the site. A free book was provided for an honest review.

April 2020; Jolly Fish Press; 978-1631634352
ebook, print (384 pages); children's
The Fantastical Exploits of Gwendolyn is the second book in the Chronicles of Gwendolyn Gray. The first was The Marvelous Adventures of Gwendolyn Gray (read my review), which is briefly summarized in the beginning of this book. It launches into the fallout of the first book, which includes Gwendolyn's irritable mood varying with emptiness and a numbness, as well as isolating behaviors and decreased interest in things she used to love. It's outright stated several times throughout the book that she is depressed, and that she needs to reach out to others. She doesn't disagree with that assessment, though she frequently argues that she has more control over herself and her creative ability than she actually does. Like most teenagers, she alternates between confidence and fear of failing, which doesn't help when she's up against adults and otherworldly beings.

As with the first one, my daughter and I both read it. She was so excited to know that a sequel existed, and started reading it on my kindle in the car while I was driving to an event for my sons. It didn't matter to her that she was risking car sickness, she had to know what would happen. I enjoyed the book just as much as she did, and it was a great way to start conversations about some Serious Topics. The description of depression for Gwendolyn was an approachable one for children, and fairly accurate for what it looks like in them. Her periods of mania as labeled by others in the novel are also worth discussing for the children that have such rapid highs and lows, and how to deal with them.

There are still risks and adventure for Gwendolyn, as well as real dangers between the different worlds of stories. She's still got features of her childhood, but she's growing up and realizing more about herself and the important lessons that she has to learn to make her world make sense. It's a great continuation of Gwendolyn's tale, and still has the possible plot hook for future tales. I'd love to see how things develop in her city and with her friends.


Born and raised in New York City, M.K. French started writing stories when very young, dreaming of different worlds and places to visit. She always had an interest in folklore, fairy tales, and the macabre, which has definitely influenced her work. She currently lives in the Midwest with her husband, three young children, and a golden retriever.

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1 comments:

  1. an interesting cover. it's nice that you and your daughter have similar reading tastes. glad she didn't get car sick. lol
    sherry @ fundinmental

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