Young adult fantasy, with the emphasis on the ‘young’. This is a sort of fairy tale told at length.
Action-packed, fast moving and sometimes mysterious, this story is also convoluted and occasionally poetic. It is also surprisingly engaging. Surprising because there are structural, grammatical and even vocabulary errors that some serious editing would have corrected. The engaging nature of the characters, coupled with the narrative pace keep the reader turning the pages here. Certainly, reading this as a writer, I felt there was much room for improvement. However, a lot of readers are unfazed by such things and will readily skip them.
The story builds well, with confusion, doubt and mystery to propel the reader into this invented world. Aspects of the world remained unexplained but there are clues that allow the astute reader to make sense of the omissions.
In parts, the book reads like the script for a computer game, with short rapid scenes tumbling one after the other, leaving the reader gasping for breath at the speed of change and action. Some of that action is inexplicable, but this is an echo of the world in which the protagonists dwell. There is more ‘telling’ and a lot less ‘showing’ than I prefer, particularly in those situations where emotion is portrayed. But, again, many readers seem unconcerned about such things.
The denouement comes swiftly and the story reaches a very satisfactory conclusion. An unusual read and one I enjoyed in spite of its faults.