Biblibio's Reviews > The Changeling Sea

The Changeling Sea by Patricia A. McKillip
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's review
Oct 02, 2010

it was ok
bookshelves: novellas, young-adult-fantasy
Read from September 29 to 30, 2010

The Changeling Sea is the third of Patricia McKillip's books that I have read and the most disappointing, if not an overall bad book. It's all right - written in McKillip's lovely fashion, well-crafted with characters that range in personality and style, and short enough that it does not bog down in too much unnecessary detail. But it is far from perfect, and even ranges on the mediocre scale.

The Changeling Sea falls mostly on the fact that it does not go into much detail regarding its world. A wise choice, but poorly played out. The final impression is not of mystique and intrigue (how are things done? What is this magic? Questions, questions, so many questions!), but rather of hastiness. It seems as if McKillip rushed with this book, zipping past scenes and blurring time. Again, the reasoning all makes sense, but something in the execution did not go over very well.

And yet I did like very much here. McKillip's writing is beautiful in an almost old-fashioned manner - sentences are crafted with love, characters blend speech that is casual and old-school, and images are so clear that I fell right in with the story. The characters despite having very little space in which to develop grow surprisingly and fill the pages of this small book. They are not as whole as possible, but much better than one would expect.

I suppose part of my apathy was the fact that I wasn't thrilled with the actual story of The Changeling Sea. The premise is curious, the development intriguing, but it did not catch my imagination as McKillip's other books have. I enjoyed reading it - it's an okay book - but I recommend it only to long-time fans of McKillip seeking to complete their collection, not much more. I'm certain I will appreciate this one more as time goes by, but it is not likely to rank much higher than okay on my scale.

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