Publication date: March 2010
Sydelle Mirabel has lived her whole life in a small village stuck in a drought. When the mysterious wizard Wayland North shows up with rain in tow, she longs to escape her town with him. But, when she gets what she wants, it isn't exactly as she imagined. Why did North choose her to leave with him and why does another wizard want to steal her away? Will she find out in time to save her town and maybe the rest of the country too?
Things I Liked:
I really enjoyed this story. It felt different, even if it wasn't unique. Maybe I just haven't read a good wizard/magic story in a while. I came to love both Syd and North, even when they annoyed me. Syd's coming to terms with her desire to leave her home and also the unexpected sadness she has in doing so is very realistic. When the action picked up in the second half, I was sucked in and couldn't put it down. There were some things that detracted from the story for me, but overall, I enjoyed it and hope for more from this author. Here are some thoughts I enjoyed from the book:
He told me how he and North had met - an almost brawl when they had both been out of their minds with drunkenness - and went into even greater detail about the beautiful, fair-haired Vesta. It took me several minutes to work out that Vesta was a horse, and Owain was possibly in love with her. p 78
"The glass and petals," the woman continued. "They're refired into new shapes and forms. It's meant to show that even if the city is set forth into ruin, it can always be built back up. We're a city of re-creators, you know. It's in our blood to start again." p 89
For so long I had thought of those mountains as nothing more than the barrier that kept me from my freedom...but the truth was, they had kept so much of the world's wickedness out. Times had been hard before the rain, but we had managed. There had been no angry crowds, vile wizards, or drunken brutes. There had been family and love. But there hadn't been hope. There hadn't been a dream to keep me there. There had been only the same of everything I had known, and a suffocating familiarity. p 95
You may not get to choose whether you're born with magic, you may not get to choose the people you're born to - but how you conduct yourself is entirely up to you. p 160Things I Didn't Like:
The first part was a little slow for me. I didn't really understand what was happening, though as we found out more in the second part, I think that was how you were supposed to feel. Some parts of it were a bit predictable, but as I mentioned above, I still enjoyed it. I also liked the romantic parts of the book - it felt like a first love to me. And it didn't make light of Syd's choice in the end either, which I appreciated.
Reminded me of Howl's Moving Castle by Diana Wynne Jones
Also like The Hero and the Crown and The Blue Sword by Robin McKinley
BOOK CONTENT RATINGS:
some fighting and injuries
Overall rating: ****
Do you find that the first book by an author is usually not as good as the rest?
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