Thank you to NetGalley and Rebellion Publishing for giving me the opportunity to read and review this wonderful book!
I am Anna Francis, wanderer, adventuress, and I feel that the snowy dark is smiling on me because it knows the love I have for it. I am a creature now of shadows and the dusk.
First of all, this book was definitely not what I expected. Although it was catergorised as Science-Fiction and Fantasy, the description gave nothing away so I didn’t really know what I was getting into.
Kearney definitely knows how to write. The strong, emotive language carried the book and threw me right into the wonders of 1920s Oxford. I could list a multitude of quotes to show howwell Kearney writes, but you really need to read the book to get immersed into the language and the feel of the novel.
The rich language intertwines the story of a refugee girl with myth and legend. Anna, though merely 12, becomes the hero of her own story, and the adventure she goes on is carefully balanced between realism and the mythical. You never quite forget she’s 12, but you’re also invited to suspend your disbelief. Thrust into the ‘Old World’, the English countryside turns into the playground of legends.
Despite a relatively slow start, with a total unawareness of where the story was going, the novel builds into a mix of wonder and reality. With sneaky cameos of Tolkien and C.S Lewis, and the strong link to English history, you’re always slightly tethered to the real world, where Anna is merely a refugee from Greece.
Anna is a wonderful character, and as the story develops you can’t help but be sucked into the mythology and the wonders of such an adventure. I’ll definitely be looking into Kearney’s other works.
WHAT I LOVED: beautiful writing, presence of Tolkien and C.S. Lewis
WHAT I DIDN’T LIKE: rather slow start, took me a while to get into it