The disclaimer: I got this through a give-away on Goodreads. We were
given the book by Quirk Books in the hope of getting reviews. My review will
not be colored by this, my review will be honest and fair.
The book has a really cool concept. The binding is like an accordion and
it tells the story from two sides. So you can read Evelyn’s story, and then
when you get to the end and just flip the book over and read Brendan’s story,
or the other way around. I thought it was really cool, because you get to see
The story is about Evelyn and Brendan. Evelyn is American, who goes to
Oxford for a semester. Her last week in England she goes to Clews in Cornwall
because her family is from there and she meets Brendan, a kid from the town. He
tells her of Elowen and Gawain. Gawain was one of Arthur’s knights and he went
to Cornwall to help queen Elowen slay giants. The story skips ahead in time and
tells the story of Evelyn and Brendan as it unfolds over the next 15-20 years.
I really liked it. I really liked the idea of telling a story from both
sides, because I read it from Evelyn’s perspective first, and I didn’t know
what Brendan’s intentions and thoughts were, and then I read Brendan’s story
and I saw his drive and intentions and they made sense. And I saw how he saw
Evelyn’s behaviour, which was also interesting, because I now knew what she was
thinking, but for Brendan it obviously seems to be a different way.
I really liked the magical undercurrents. They tell the story of Elowen
and Gawain and to me at least, it felt a lot like Evelyn and Brendan were
connected to them in some way, that maybe they’re the next iteration of the
queen and the knight. And Evelyn has these visions of fairies and trolls through
her whole life, which also makes it interesting.
The ending (of both stories) was really interesting to me. It’s very
open ended. It was very up in the air. It lets the reader decide what happens
next, and I realized when I read it that I am apparently a romantic. I really
love open endings. I love sort of deciding my own ending. I also, at the same
time, find them extremely frustrating. I like things that frustrate me
sometimes. This is going to a weird place.
It’s a very short book, and it’s very compressed. The author skips
forward in time in leaps and bounds, but it didn’t bother me. She left out
things that weren’t needed, and she kept in the things that we did need. It’s
very trim, but it never felt like I was lacking anything I needed.
And on the first and last page of both stories there is a drawing, and
they’re just beautiful and so detailed and I really liked that detail.
I liked it. I thought it was sweet, and funny and the design is really
cool, which made me want to read it anymore. It’s interesting to see a story from different perspectives, so I think that was fascinating.