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This story is very much in an adult fairy tale style (not "adult" as in: porn, XXX, etc. but rather thought/scope). LOL. Similiar to "Jonathan Strange and Mr. Norrell" in style/desired effect ...but THIS author manages to pull off the delicate fairy tale atmosphere (in my opinion) without surrendering logic. The story is not quite as simple as it seems on the surface. I am going to have to go back, reread it and pay a tad bit MORE attention to a few details here and there. There is no attempt to explain how the magic works and none is needed (for the true fairy tale atmosphere) ...but there IS an underlying logic to the bones of the tale. Nice.
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I sometimes find the plots of Patricia A. McKillips books to be difficult to follow and lacking coherence, but she more than makes up for that with her wonderfully lyrical writing. She has the unique ability to paint vivid and fantastical images in your mind with her words that flow with rhythm and a living heartbeat.
This story I enjoyed thoroughly from beginning to end. It is loaded with McKillip's abstract concepts, but the story has a symmetry to it that makes it feel whole and complete in the end.
3 of 3 people found this review helpful
This is a wonderfully evocative fairy tale, beautifully written and a pleasure to listen to. The narration is excellent. The book makes me think of Ellen Kushner's Privilege of the Sword visiting Zelazny's city of Amber with a bit of Gormenghast thrown in for good measure.