Monday, February 16, 2015

In the Forests of Serre by Patricia A. McKillip

in the forests of serre In the Forests of Serre by Patricia A. McKillip
Released: June 2nd 2003
Read: October 2012
Source: bought/paperback

Goodreads | Amazon

Returning from war, Prince Ronan of Serre accidentally tramples a white hen in the road — and earns a witch’s curse. Her words are meaningless to a man mourning his dead wife and child, but they come to pass all the same; Ronan has not been home a day before his father insists on an arranged marriage. As he gazes into the forest, desperate for a way out, Ronan glimpses a wonderful firebird perched on a nearby branch. He follows where it leads him — into a sideways world where his father’s palace no longer exists. But his intended, the beautiful Princess Sidonie, is on her way to the palace. And her fate depends on Ronan wanting to find his way home. . . . (from Goodreads)

I feel like this book was a puzzle. Each individual piece that I read seemed small and insignificant and maybe frivolous, but then I finished the book, all the pieces put together, and my mind was blown by how gorgeous the picture is!

I find that McKillip's handling of so many characters is so interesting. She managed to weave a story through four separate POVs with something like eight main characters. As a writer, this may be part of the reason for my awe. All the characters are well formed. I feel like I know them, that they are not words simply on the page. Considering how many of them there are, that's awesome.

In this tale, McKillip creates her own combination of the Baba Yaga  and Firebird myth to fill the branches of the enchanted forest that stands guard of Serre. Then she adds court intrigue, wizards, dragons, crazy awesome magic, and kick ass princesses. Please stop me when this no longer sounds like an epic book!

The plot, though tedious at times, took shape immediately. The end was somewhat predictable, but the journey was not. If you are a reader willing to take that journey with the characters, you will not regret it! Patricia A. McKillip delivers yet another beautifully realized fantasy. Every and all fantasy fan will LOVE.

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