Monday, February 1, 2010

BOOK REVIEW: Elfland by Freda Warrington

I finished Elfland by Freda Warrington earlier this week, and it has to be said that it has renewed my faith in the fantasy genre. Fantasy has a tendency to be sappy and eye-rollingly laughable. Elfland is neither.

The basic premise is we share our world with a much older race called Aetherials. Many of them have chosen to live on earth in a human form, but they can travel between their world and ours by way of lychgates throughout the world, and every seven years, by way of The Gate. At the opening of the book, Lawrence, the Aetherial Gatekeeper, senses a great threat behind the Gate, and seals it and all the lychgates, allowing no one to come in or out. Rosie, Sam, Jon and Lucas, four young Aetherials, are trying to find a way to open the gates without allowing either world to be destroyed by the evil that lurks within.

The story is complex, but in a way that reminds you of real-life stories. Life is never just one storyline, but many that weave in and out of one another, each one affecting all the others. Elfland is this way. The complexity is at times confusing, but not overly so, and the story is comprehensive enough that no one story feels as if it was undertold. The world Warringotn creates is rich and tangible, making you wonder if Elemental beings really do hide out in the trees and under rocks. The characters have their faults and their victories, and no one, much as in life, is exactly how they seem on the surface. The characters deal with drug abuse, infidelity, murder, questionable sexuality, incest and unclear motives. Warrington manages to fit all this into a book that is under 500 pages, without ever being overwhelming. It's a great read, though not a quick one. Set aside several days or even weeks, depending on how fast you read, before picking up this book.

This week I also read: World War Z by Max Brooks, I, Robot by Isaac Asimov, Sloppy First by Megan McCafferty, Shiver by Maggie Stiefvater

No comments:

Post a Comment