The Tethered World features Sadie Larcen, the eldest daughter of six children. As a homeschooled student whose mother runs a popular blog about myth and lore, she’s used to a life that defies definition as “normal”. When her parents mysteriously disappear, it’s up to Sadie to keep everyone calm, safe, and protected. That’s a lot to ask of a sixteen-year-old, but it’s only the beginning of the seemingly-impossible things Sadie will have to deal with in order to get her parents back.
The things I enjoyed the most about this story were the unique elements the author incorporated. My favorite of these were:
The Twist on the Bigfoot Legend
In The Tethered World, Sadie’s mother is deeply knowledgeable of folktales and fables, especially when it comes to the legend of Bigfoot. So when Sadie’s parents appear to have been abducted by a genuine Sasquatch, Sadie finds this unusual but not outside the realm of possibility. She doesn’t even begin to consider the word “impossible” until she discovers that Bigfoot is real, there are quite a few of them, and humans have a hard time finding them simply because we’ve been misidentifying them for so long.
The Twist on Autism
Sadie’s brothers Broc and Brody are twins identical in every way except one: Broc has Autism. As the mother of a child with high-functioning Autism, I found Broc to be especially endearing. I appreciated the way Fitzgerald presented Broc’s manifestations of Autism with dignity and respect, and I loved the way she made a qualifying strength out of this condition that mainstream culture often perceives as a weakness and, sometimes, even as a liability.
The Twist on Setting
The Tethered World is a cross-over story. Although Sadie and her family live in contemporary America, most of the story takes place in a fairy world that is richly developed with original details. This isn’t Narnia or Middle-Earth; it’s a unique fae realm unlike anywhere else explored before.
Readers who enjoy middle-grade books with strong female protagonists and a light romance thread (free of clichéd love triangles) will enjoy this book, as well as the already completed sequels The Genesis Tree and The Flaming Sword.