Delia Sherman’s latest book, Changeling, is a middle grade fantasy that doesn’t resemble anything else I’ve ever read.1 It has many recogniseable elements: fairies, changelings, mermaids, dragons, New York City, but they’ve never been brought together like this before.

Delia Sherman's ChangelingSherman’s New York City is unlike any NYC I’ve read about.2 She’s transformed it into “New York City Between”—a wonderland populated by fairy folk and characters from well-known children’s stories like Eloise—and she’s done it in a way that keeps the city entirely recogniseable and yet utterly different. Central Park is just as easy to get lost in, Wall Street is just as crazy busy, but it’s run by the dragon of Wall Street. If you know NYC at all well you’ll be delighted, no matter how old you are, and if you don’t know the city it doesn’t matter. Changeling stands up on its own.

I hesitate to say it because the word has such a bad wrap, but Changeling is utterly charming. I was entranced by Neef and her New York Between from the very first page. I can’t wait to read more about both of them. Here’s to it becoming a series of many, many more books!

If you don’t believe me, check out these other folks who loved it as much as I did.

  1. Except her earlier short stories set in the same world. []
  2. I would love to see the complete list of magical New Yorks. I bet it’s really really long. A truly complete version would have to list Dawn Powell’s New York as well as Eloise’s. []


  1. sdn on #

    thank you, m’dear! and isn’t the map great? i love the map.

  2. Justine on #

    The map is truly excellent. Almost as excellent as the book!

  3. Diana on #

    Another magical New York is the one in Shanna Swendson’s Enchanted, Inc. series. Starts with Enchanted Inc., continues with Once upon Stilettos and up next is damsel under duress.

    It’s about a chick lit-style “girl in the city” who discovers her most marketable skill is that she’s so amazingly ordinary that she’s *immune* to magic, and gets a job as a “verifier” at a magic tech company. Fairies and wizards and gargoyles coming to life and frogs in central park that are really princes in disguise and princes that are really frogs in disguise — very adorable.

  4. TansyRR on #

    My favourite magical New York novel is Enter Three Witches by Kate Gilmore, a YA from the early nineties about a boy who lives with three witches – his beautiful mother, fortune telling grandmother and a voodoo priestess tenant – in a Brownstone building on Central Park.

    He’s sixteen and just fallen in love with a girl playing a witch in the school production of Macbeth, and desperate to keep her from finding out the truth about his family – and he hardly sees his dad, who left because he couldn’t deal with the chaos that comes from living with so much magic and oestregen.

    I fell in love so hard with this book that I photocopied it in its entirety when the library demanded it back… this was back before Amazon Marketplace existed. Thanks for reminding me – I can go get a real copy now!

  5. Maggie on #

    OMG, I read her short story ‘Catnyp’ in ‘The Faery Reel’, and I was *so* hoping she’d make it into a novel!

  6. Justine on #

    If you all enjoyed those books, you’ll adore Changeling! Rush and get yourself a copy!

    I’m thinking someone should definitely put that list of magical NYCs together.

    Maggie: And she did! I feel the same way about “Catnyp” that you do.

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