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on July 21, 2012 :
This fun and ultimately hopeful book takes the reader along familiar paths lined with faeries, gods and magic powers but introduces enough twists and new ideas to satisfy a jaded fantasy fan like myself. As the fair haired singer Johnny makes his way from the normal lows of a young man's life in a half-real half-mythical world to ultimate love and enlightenment on the other side of the green stone tower, the author manages nice bits of political satire, takes well-aimed jabs at religious intolerance, and even gives unique insights into the character and motivation behind the "evil" god of shadow. Near the end, the book takes a dive into metaphysical concepts, and in my opinion such a direction does not usually go so well for a story. However, in this case philosophical riffs about the nature of life, death, time, and space are well enough handled to preserve the reader's emotional attachment.
I wish that 4.5 stars was an option here, because that is what I would like to give this book. I found the pace good, the characters likable, and the story enjoyable. Although the plot ties up nicely at the end, there clearly is a sequel coming and I will be watching for it.
(reviewed within a month of purchase)
on June 24, 2012 :
This is a fairy tale like none I've ever read before. Johnny the Singer and Illowan the Faerie Girl live in two separate worlds, yet they are destined to love each other and transform both of their worlds. Illowan is a Persephone-esque character with tremendous spunk sorting through the themes of enlightenment, destiny and mortality. Johnny plays his ambertone and has a friend named Stephen Seedcorn. There's also a lawyer named Houndhide and a pantheon of 8 gods that are a hoot. The language is lyrical, the writing elegant and charming. Great fun.
(reviewed the day of purchase)