May 05, 11
This is an enchanting little fantasy from a new author, Julie Berry.
In this story, the main character, Evie, is knowin in her village as a healer. Raised by her grandfather after the death of her parents, she dreams of going to the university in Chalcedony to become a real doctor. When she heals a member of the king’s retinue, her dreams become a possibility. With the king’s letter and backing, she heads for the capital city, but fate steps in and her coach is held up by a highwayman. She and her fellow travelers manage to make it to the next city where they find passage on a ship. A horrible storm wrecks the ship and all are doomed until a leviathan from the deep saves Evie.
She beseeches him to save the rest and thus beins her true adventures as a serpentina woman.
This was a sweet story with romance, adventure, intrigue and magic.
Set in a medieval time, it uses some familiar settings and other more fanciful ones. Issues with the story: the pacing is a bit slow in the beginning making it too easy to put down. The subplot with Annalise seems a bit contrived with an unsatisfying ending. In fact, the ending did not seem very much like an ending with too many loose ends and left me wondering if the story is going to be continued. Not necessarily a bad thing, but disconcerting. Plus the surprise twist at the end is a little too odd. It was almost as if there was more story to tell, but the writer (or publisher) was trying to cram it into a specified space.
Even with these issues, I did enjoy the story – up until the end. That left me rather unsatisfied, still it is a nice little fantasy for those who love medieval settings and magical creatures.