Wednesday 31 July 2019

Book Review: The Piper and the Fairy by Carole Bulewski

Last Updated: 16 September 2021

The Piper and the Fairy by Carole Bulewski book cover

London-based sculptor Iris’ friend Tom has disappeared without a trace during a trip to Austria. Worse still Iris has no recollection of what happened when she went searching for him. 

Stranger still, she regularly hears Tom’s voice in her head?

Fearing that she may be losing her mind she consults a therapist, to bring back the memories she’s temporarily erased.

The focus of the therapy quickly shifts towards the only two people who have mattered to her. Tom, the piper, a Sixties-influenced musician who reignited her creativity; and Matilda, her childhood friend, who encouraged her to pursue her artistic ambitions whilst inspiring her through her Wiccan practice.

What is it that Iris, the fairy in the trees as Tom called her, has buried deep inside that her mind, and will she be able to dig up the clues as to what happened to Tom?

I really wanted to love this book as on paper, it sounds right up my street. The book incorporates elements from a wide range of genres including mystery, romance, and paranormal - all of which are genres that I regularly enjoy reading. However, sadly, The Piper and the Fairy just didn't live up to its potential.

The plot was too winding and convoluted, heading off to explore irrelevant tangents rather than getting to the actual point of the story. This also made it confusing at times and disrupted the pacing of the story that Iris was recounting. Key plot points seemed muddled and unclear, and when I finished reading, it was like coming up for air after being underwater.

The characters were contradictory and uninspiring, and I really struggled to engage with anyone in the story. I was interested enough to keep on reading in order to find out what happened to Tom, but unfortunately, I just couldn't engage with the characters on an emotional level and remained distanced from the story.

I did feel that the supernatural element to the story was done quite well, although I would personally have preferred more direct referencing to it throughout rather than subtle, veiled hints and guesswork. I also enjoyed the influences of Wicca, paganism, and spiritualism that are a common theme throughout the book - interestingly, I was reading the part when Iris went to Glastonbury when I was also visiting the town, which was a lovely coincidence!

All in all, I'm sorry to say that The Piper and the Fairy was a bit of a disappointment for me. The story had so much potential, but the execution let it down. 

Rating: 2 stars

The Piper and the Fairy is available to buy now.

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Have you read the book? What do you think? Let me know in the comments below!


  1. Thank you for your honest review. I must say the title is captivating.