by D.M. Cornish
Wow. And, um, wow again. I am seriously impressed by this book. It has many of the elements of a Proper Fairy Tale–the young hero sets out on a journey, not knowing his true identity, etc–but they are treated in such a masterful way that I never felt annoyed by them. Rossamund (the ‘u’ needs an umlaut, but I don’t know how to add them :(), our hero, is both endearing and interesting. And the world-building! Good grief. It’s impressive in the Jonathan Strange & Mr. Norrell way–I found myself comparing the two several times. Cornish’s drawings are gorgeous and contribute greatly to the sense of the Half-Continent as a real place, inhabited by real people.
My only (very minor) quibble is that occasionally I felt Cornish over-explained things. With definitions at the start of each chapter AND a glossary (and more maps) at the back, I didn’t think all of the in-text explanations were necessary and they often jolted me out of the sense of reality that he had some carefully built up throughout. But that’s a minor quibble and I can’t wait to read the second and third books! (The third isn’t out until September.)
Book source: University of Portland Library