Dust Girl by Sarah Zettel Book Review

Dust Girl by Sarah Zettel book cover

Dust Girl by Sarah Zettel
The American Fairy #1
Publisher: Bluefire
Release Date: June 26, 2012
Pages: 304

Rating: 4 stars

Fans of Libba Bray’s The Diviners will love The American Fairy Trilogy’s stylish blend of fantasy and twentieth-century history.

Callie LeRoux is choking on dust. It settles on the food in the kitchen. It seeps through the cracks in the hotel that Callie and her mother run in Kansas. It’s slowly filling her lungs. Callie’s begged her mother to leave their town, like their neighbors have already done, but her mother refuses. She’s waiting for Callie’s long-gone father to return.

Just as the biggest dust storm in history sweeps through the Midwest, Callie discovers her mother’s long-kept secret. Callie’s not just mixed race—she’s half fairy, too. Now, Callie’s fairy kin have found where she’s been hidden, and they’re coming for her.

While red dust engulf the prairie, magic unfolds around Callie. Buildings flicker from lush to shabby, and people aren’t what they seem. She catches glimpses of a tail, a wing, dark eyes full of stars. The only person Callie can trust may be Jack, the charming ex-bootlegger she helped break out of jail.

From the despair of the Dust Bowl to the hot jazz of Kansas City, from dance marathons to train yards, to the dangerous beauties of the fairy realm, Sarah Zettel creates a world rooted equally in American history and in magic, where two fairy clans war over a girl marked by prophecy.

Historical fantasy is one of my favorite genres, but it is one of the most difficult ones to get right if you ask me – and Sarah Zettel manages to nearly nail it with Dust Girl. It has the perfect amount of intrigue, adventure, and great story that features a budding friendship.

I don’t know how I didn’t read this one earlier. I heard about it and was excited, but somehow it just slipped down my TBR pile and boy am I regretting it. I love how different Sarah Zettel‘s fairies are. While there are the common features, there are also different features that her fairies have. I am very eager to learn more about them in the books sequel, Golden Girl.

I am really hoping for a lot more answers in the sequel. Dust Girl lays the foundation for a lot of big questions, so I cannot wait to find out all the answers. I was left a little confused at times, since I was not really sure going on. This was particularly true at the story’s end since a lot happens in a short period of time. There is a prophecy and two sides fighting for the same girl. I never was really sure where my loyalties should lie and Sarah Zettel managed to keep my clueless as to the villain was right up until the reveal. I had not a clue and that rarely happens.

Both Callie and Jack are great main characters – I am excited to see what happens with their story next. Callie is biracial and while it leaves her with insecurities, I love that she doesn’t let it overcome her life, even though she mentions that others like her may.

I cannot wait to pick up Golden Girl and follow Callie and Jack’s story immediately to get more adventure and find some answers. Fans of Leah Cypess or Esther Freisner will adore this stunning story from Sarah Zettel.


  1. says

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