The Sisters Grimm are Sabrina, age twelve, and Daphne, who is eight. This is the ninth and final book in "The Sisters Grimm" series. The premise for the story is that fairy tale characters are real beings known as "Everafters" and that years ago Wilhelm Grimm brought them all to America, established a city named Ferryport Harbor in New York state on the Hudson River for them, built a magic wall around it to protect them, and appointed his descendants to watch over them. However, war has broken out between a group of rebels known as the Scarlet Hand, led by the Magic Mirror, who want to leave, and its opponents, led by Prince Charming, who seek to follow Wilhelm's original plan. Some of the main characters include the Big Bad Wolf (Mr. Canis), Red Riding Hood, the Titan, Briar Rose (Sleeping Beauty), Snow White and the seventh dwarf, Puck, Pinocchio and Gepetto, the Wicked Queen (Bunny Lancaster), Morgan le Fay, Baba Yaga, Grendel, Goldilocks and the Three Bears, King Arthur and his knights, Robin Hood and his men, the Queen of Hearts, and many others.
In previous books, the Magic Mirror had captured Sabrina and Daphne's parents, Henry and Veronica, and their little brother Basil to use the baby in his plot to escape. During this time, the two girls lived in several foster homes until they were located by their Granny Relda Grimm and brought to live with her at Ferryport Landing. Mirror fails in his plan for Basil, so after the parents escape with the baby he captures Granny Relda and decides to kill all the Grimms so that the magical barrier will collapse. In the meantime, Sabrina has gathered the other magic mirrors and seeks their advice on how to deal with their enemy. They tell her to join forces with the Scarlet Hand against Mirror, in exchange for offering all the citizens of Ferryport Landing their freedom. What will happen? Can they free Granny Relda? And will any of them survive the battle? Not having read the first eight books of the series (The Fairy-Tale Detectives; The Unusual Suspects; The Problem Child; Once Upon a Crime; Magic and Other Misdemeanors; Tales from the Hood; The Everafter War; and The Inside Story; there is also A Very Grimm Guide with extra information about Fairyport Landing, the characters, and the series itself, which might be very helpful in explaining the plot), I was admittedly at a disadvantage picking up the story in book nine.
As a result, some things were a bit confusing, especially at first. Numerous plot devices in the book are dependent upon understanding events that had happened in earlier books, certain individuals are identified by a number of different names so that keeping who's who straight can be difficult at times, and several characters seem to have switched back and forth between the two sides with relative ease. At the same time, the tale is told in a very exciting manner that moves along quickly and readily keeps the reader's attention. As to language, there are a few childish slang terms, such as kicking or saving someone's butt, and the ubiquitous "OMG" (someone may claim that it means only "Oh my gosh," but we all know what it really means). One character is reported to have gone through several failed marriages and another is said to have been uncomfortable with her "husband's ex;" also one individual is called a "harlot" (does someone really think that these things are appropriate for a children's book?) And towards the end, a lot of destruction and death occur. In fact, the publisher's blurb says, "This final chapter is the end of the road for several beloved characters." For kids who have seen an average of 8,000 murders on television by the time they finish elementary school, this may be no big problem, but sensitive children, especially on the younger range of the given reading level, could be affected adversely. My conclusion is that while this isn't a terribly bad book, it doesn't have anything particularly worthy to commend it as a truly great book.show more
by Wayne S. Walker