One time after I won a StarCraft match, my opponent insulted me by saying "you played so bad it confused me." He had a point, and I was reminded of his words while reading this book. The book isn't bad, but it does have stretches that seem too twee or too staid, and because of that I was blindsided by some of the more interesting things that the book does and the adeptness with which the author moves. In particular, it was only after finishing the book that I realized it was written nearly 100 years ago. Because of the book's modern cover and recommendation quotes, I thought it was a relatively modern book, and the fact that it was able to pass as such is a testament to how well it has aged. The tweeness or staidness were really unavoidable given its time period/author.
So, what is the book about? It is a somewhat ambiguous, family friendly, story about magic-fairy subversion. A few murders too. As wtih _A Delicate Truth_, I was disappointed/disgusted by the main characters not taking serious threats seriously enough, but the book's age is a good excuse for that. The writing is well done, though a tad meandering and as I mentioned, too plaid.