Domnall and the borrowed child

by Sylvia Spruck Wrigley

Domnall Cover

Contains: brave faeries, cunning humans, hungry wolves, and uncooperative sheep.

The best and bravest faeries fell in the war against the Sluagh, and now the Council is packed with idiots and cowards. Domnall is old, aching and as cranky as they come but, as much as he'd like to retire, he's the best scout the Sithein court has left.

When a fae child falls deathly ill, Domnall knows he's the only one who can get her the medicine she needs: Mother's milk. The old scout will face cunning humans, hungry wolves and uncooperative sheep, to say nothing of his fellow fae!

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For centuries—more than that, millennia!—since the beginning of time itself, the fae had celebrated the Spring by finding the bluebells and creating a faerie ring. And now, apparently, that was all over. Too dangerous, squeaked the Council. Times have changed. Tradition simply tossed to the wind like dandelion seeds … read more

Audio Excerpt

Listen to an excerpt of Domnall and the borrowed child, read by Tim Gerard Reynolds

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Deborah Walker on Goodreads:

He may be feeling his age. He may be worried about his kin. He may be feeling a bit under appreciated. But Domnall's not a fae to take a problems lying down. Leastways not unless he's managed to acquire some of that big people whisky.

When a child becomes dangerously ill, Domnall knows that he's got to find the mortal mother's milk to save her. When the changeling solution goes pear shaped, Domnall sets out again into a dangerous world to save the child. He'll brave wolves and brownies to seek out a mortal saviour. He'll even risk making a fool of himself by dancing with a much younger fae.

Domnall is an irrepressible, incorrigible and utterly likeable character and Wrigley builds a world of the fae like nothing I've ever read before. Funny and fascinating and highly recommended.

FangirlNation Magazine — Domnall and the Borrowed Child: Daily Life for the Fae

Wrigley skillfully builds up the crotchety old Fae’s character and the world he lives in, providing the small details that make it possible for the reader to see and smell the world. There are uncooperative sheep with “hot and hairy” udders and a tendency to kick the pail over. There is the “deep, rich smell of alcohol and peat” in whiskey. Domnall gets chilled by the night.

The novella is tightly-paced, with the tensions worked in and with problems believably developing one from another. Domnall and the Borrowed Child finishes satisfactorily as a slice of life among the Fae, one set of difficulties dealt with and a sense that life will go on. It makes for a look into another world and another life.

Lynn Williams — Books and travelling with Lynn

I can’t really go into great depth with this as it’s only a fairly short story so would be very easy to spoil things. Basically, this is a light hearted adventure from the fae world that brings to us a different view on the changeling theme. We find out a little bit more about fairy revels and enchantments. We learn it might not always be a good idea to drink the dew from the bluebells and we pay a visit to the local brownies.

This is sweet and slightly different than the normal fairly tale. I think my only real criticism is that I would have liked more in fact I think this could definitely have been filled out and given a bit more depth.

As it is, short and sweet.

Owen Wood — Domnall and the Borrowed Child

Oh. My. Goodness. First, look at that cover, isn’t it stunning! I love it. Second, I love cranky old men. Third, I love Fae stories. This novella was such a fantastic read that I devoured it in one sitting. Domnall is essentially a veteran with a war injury that gives him pains throughout the entire novel. It makes him cranky but he pushes through and gets his job done. I love that he is paired with a spry young girl and the contrast between the two gives the novella a little friction. I also enjoyed the writing style. I felt as if I had sat down and someone was telling me a story, nothing about it made me feel as if I were reading it myself.

The only thing I didn’t like was that IT WAS TOO DANG SHORT! I want more!!!

Beth Cato on 50 Book Challenge #105

This novella isn't about action of high drama; no, it's a cozy fairy tale from the fairy's perspective, and it's a joy. Domnall is a cranky old cuss, the kind who pisses on the flowers that will soon have their dew harvested. But when a fairy child falls gravely ill, he knows what must be done: the wee one must feed on a human mother's milk, which means the human baby must be nabbed. Domnall fumbles along, doing the best he can to tend to both babies. His efforts to feed the human baby lead to a humorous episode of sheep-milking.

It was fascinating to read of changelings from the fairy perspective. From the human viewpoint, they are such evil beings. Here, the depiction is more nuanced and tragic--of course the humans will be horrified if they find their baby has been replaced, but the fairies are trying to save one of few children they have left. This is a fairy tale with a lot of depth, with a welcome new viewpoint on old tropes.

Melliane — Between dreams and reality

As soon as it is about faes, I’m always there, so when I saw this novella, I was immediately intrigued. How not to be?

Regardless, the story is not really long, it must be said, but it remains complete and allows us to discover a particular universe of the author. We then meet with Domnall, a former scout, but also a character unlike any others, one who knows how to do his job. His new mission? To heal a young fae who needs a mother’s milk. Something that seems perfectly innocuous is actually very difficult when you have to exchange the child with a human baby and to recover him/her without being noticed and without endangering the life of the child. Yet Domnall knows he can do it, but he did not count on all the pitfalls that will be strewn in his path.

It was quite an interesting story, which is read with pleasure and quite quickly. I loved the myths developed by the author about the faes and it is true that I would even have been happy to learn more. We’re quickly carried away by the story, seeing how the coming events will take place and how our hero will face them. A good short lovely story.

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