I knew very little about this book before diving in. I’d read a little blurb about it in an article talking about diverse fantasy books and decided on a whim to get in from my library. AND I’M SO GLAD I DID!!! Oh my goodness, this book was so good! I mean, I’m a sucker for a good portal story (partially because I’m still holing out hope that I can fall into a portal of my own some day). But, aside from vicariously living out my fantasies, the book itself was so well written. You guys need to check it out!
One of the things I really appreciated about this book was that Meadows did a great job showing the gritty, “darker” side of this world, while at the same time not overloading the reader with a billion scenes of death and sadness. The world created is not a totally good world, nor is it a terrible pit of doom. It felt very real. As did the characters’ reactions to the events in this world.
So now on to what’s normally my favorite part of a story: the characters. First off, HELLO DIVERSITY! I loved how many different, diverse characters were portrayed here. There’s bi characters, lesbians, polyamory, lots of different ethnicities and skin colors, and a whole lot more! Plus, each character themselves was so unique and individual. It made me so happy. Gwen was definitely my favorite, although I do love almost all of the rest too.
Ok, so I’ve gushed about all the many things I loved about this world. There were a few little aspects I was less fond of though. First, I felt like the “bad guys” weren’t quite fleshed out enough. I get that they were supposed to be evil, but sometimes it was hard to figure out exactly why. And there were a few other plot points that also needed a little more development/explanations.
Overall, I absolutely loved this book. It was so much fun to fall into a world of magic, intrigue, and delightful characters. If you like fantasy books, and have always dreamed of finding your own Narnia, do yourself a favor and check this out!