Christina's Reviews > The Returning

The Returning by Christine Hinwood
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Mar 12, 2012

really liked it
bookshelves: fantasy, historical-fiction
Read in February, 2012

I put this in both "fantasy" and "historical" because to me it's both--sure, the village of Kayforl and the countryside of the Uplanders and Downlanders doesn't really exist, so it's fantasy, but, the technology level is medieval and a lot of the situations and cultural aspects are somewhat historical; they evoke the Middle Ages of Europe. This is a book of interconnected storylines, telling the growing-up tales of several kids and teens in the village as they deal with love and loss and war. Cam, 17, returns from the war with the Uplanders minus an arm, cut off in a battle where his life was spared. He is dealing with post traumatic stress from the war and being the only soldier of his entire village to return alive. Pin, his young sister, worships him, but when he leaves for the castle of the conquerors to work out his problems with the man who both injured and saved him, Pin must learn to navigate the stresses of adolescence without him. The village is rural, populated with hardy farmers and sheepherders, who scrabble for a living alongside the wealthier Fenister clan who own much of the land the villagers work. Graceful, the Fenister daughter, is betrothed to an Uplander prince, and must navigate the ways of a culture she's never before experienced. Those three are the main characters, but there are a lot of people mentioned in the book, so it is handy to look at the List of Characters at the back of the book to see who is related to whom. I really liked this world the author created, and the slightly different ways of speaking the Downlanders have; by the end of the book you really care about the characters and want to go on more adventures with them.
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