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The Radiant Road

3.44  ·  Rating details ·  571 ratings  ·  136 reviews
Clare Macleod has lived all her life with an awareness of the Strange, tales of fairies and magic-making told to her by her mother who died years ago. No longer a child, Clare has learned to suppress the magic that haunted the corners of her life, to say the word “fairy” with the appropriate disbelief. But after years of living in America, Clare and her father are returnin ...more
Hardcover, 368 pages
Published January 19th 2016 by Dutton Books for Young Readers
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Alphlia I'd say it was the best book I've ever read... 10/10 would read again- and again, and again, and again.…moreI'd say it was the best book I've ever read... 10/10 would read again- and again, and again, and again.(less)

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Average rating 3.44  · 
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 ·  571 ratings  ·  136 reviews

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Carole (Carole's Random Life)
This review can also be found at Carole's Random Life

I have mixed feelings about this book. Young adult fantasy with a fairies? I was ready to love it and I thought it started out really strong but everything started to fizzle out for me as the book progressed. I liked the overall story but I had a lot of trouble connecting with the writing style. I really wanted to see where things were going in the story but I found that I kept checking how much I had left to read like I was eager for it to be
Mar 26, 2016 rated it it was ok

One extra star for the lyrical writing and snippets of pretty good poetry. Otherwise, totally not worth my time.
I was drawn in by the first chapter and the prospect of an Irish fairytale-esque novel. It turned out to be a lot more, but not in a good way. Despite attempting to be "self aware", the book can't make up its mind what it is. A fairy tale? A horror story? A fantasy/adventure? A YA romance? Irish Inception? Eh, throw it all in for good measure.
That may sound cool, but in reality m
Stefan Bachmann
Dec 31, 2015 rated it it was amazing
I loved this. It's a gentle, fable-y, daydream of a book, with little bursts of nightmarishness for good measure, and the writing is gorgeous. Even the acknowledgements at the end are gorgeous. There are tons of quotable passages. Literally thumbing through the book at random will get you things like this:

Through the blackness they flew, Clare clinging hand and arm and leg, watching the night roar past from between Asterion's horns. They passed a flock of night geese whose bodies were one long,
It's just... a bit much.

I had a similar problem with the author's debut, Summer and Bird, though I hadn't at first realised they were by the same person. So close to being interesting and whimsical and lovely, but just crumbles into the bizarre and senseless instead. Not to mention the prose, so purple it's almost unreadable at times.

For example, a (very minor) character is introduced, namelessly, and described in lines such as:
"Those mountain-lake eyes turned down in amusement"
followed two line
madie (madieanne)
Dec 28, 2019 rated it liked it
pure poetry.
Dark Faerie Tales
Jan 02, 2016 rated it it was amazing
Review courtesy of Dark Faerie Tales

Quick & Dirty: A melodic, lush story overflowing with Irish folklore.

Opening Sentence: Clare was a strange girl, solitary and shy.

The Review:

Clare Macledod is not an ordinary girl. She grew up in a home within an immense yew tree, only one of the generations of girls to be born into the legacy. After the death of her mother, she and her father has traveled the globe, not putting down roots, not staying anywhere too long. But it’s time for them to return. Clare
Christina (A Reader of Fictions)
Pages read: 12

One of the reasons I swiftly DNF books is if the writing style and I immediately clash, and that's what happened here. Catmull's going for a poetic sort of style, and this one just isn't working for me. I'm very hit or miss, and this was a swing and a miss. Like, I see what she's going for, but it's just not working. I'm bored and generally stylistic issues like this don't get better.
Oct 30, 2015 rated it it was ok
Honestly, I still can't tell you exactly how I felt about this book! There were things I really liked about it (particularly the poetry and imagery that went into describing the more magical aspects of the story), things that were alright (the characters) and things that I found a little off-putting (the pace). It's definitely not a book for everyone though, that's for sure. It's the type of read meant for a specific sort of reader. ...more
Stephanie (Reading is Better With Cupcakes)
I have a fondness for stories that take place in Ireland. It is a place that I wish to some day visit. So until I can actually make it there, I like visiting through books.

This book didn't disappoint me whatsoever. While I read it, I could imagine the beautiful scenery. I wanted to live in Clare's underground one giant room house where one wall is comprised entirely of a giant ancient tree. I could imagine myself standing in the rolling green fields watching the ocean waves crashing against the
Dec 10, 2015 marked it as to-read
DNF. This really makes me sad because I was so excited to love this one, but I just couldn't get into the writing style. It's extremely different for me and not something I ultimately enjoyed. ...more
The writing in this was beautiful. It felt like a true fairy tale. It was dark but there was always a glimmer of hope throughout the story. I would read more by Katherine Catmull because of her writing style. On the other hand, I felt this story is just kind of forgettable. There was nothing to make the characters stand out and I've already forgotten most of the plot. If you're looking for a quick read that has gorgeous writing I would recommend this, but if you're looking for a book about Fae t ...more
Dec 15, 2015 rated it it was amazing
Fourteen year old Clare Macleod and her father return to Ireland and their home with a tree for a wall, after years of being away. Returning home brings back memories of Clare’s dead mother and a dark-haired boy from Clare’s dreams. Clare finds that the dark haired boy is very real and is so the fairy magic of her childhood. Soon, Clare is swept away into the brilliant but dangerous world of the Strange and must save it and her own world.

Katherine Catmull’s The Radiant Road is just that, radiant
Susan Dove Lempke
Jun 04, 2016 rated it really liked it
Shelves: ya, fantasy, audiobook
Clare, who has mostly grown up in the U.S., comes with her Scottish father to live in her late mother's house in Ireland, which is set into a hill with an ancient yew tree embedded in its wall. She has long been familiar with what she thinks of as "the strange," and as she finds a way into the tree and meets up with a boy named Finn, she begins to realize that the strange feeling is fairy work.

Personally, my skepticism goes way up when fairies come into a story, not because I believe less in fa
I ABSOLUTELY hate the cover art for this book -


The face looks disjointed, and the woodgrain on the girls face makes my skin crawl. If this novel hadn't been so heavily hyped I probably would have disregarded it on its looks alone.

I want to be clear that Katherine Catmull has a beautifully whimsical writing technique, but everything in this book felt unfocused and muddled together.

The beginning (view spoiler)
Dec 15, 2015 rated it really liked it
I am going to go with a 3.5, this started off strong, but started to lose me at the end. Interesting story and concept.
Dec 19, 2015 rated it it was ok
This book just dabbled too much in magic realism and not enough in fantasy and fae for me to enjoy the story or characters.
D. B. Guin
Aug 29, 2019 rated it liked it
Shelves: solid, fantasy, ya
This was... okay.

I picked it up because the cover gave off a witchy vibe, but actually it's more of a Moorchild-type fae story. That should be a good thing, but this book just seems like it's trying too hard. Ooh, the lyricism! Ooh, the poetry!

There's just something off about this story. It's overdone where it needs to be understated, and feels very young reader despite being YA. I really want to like it for what it is, but I can see the mark it was aiming for, and it definitely missed.
Melissa Gravitis
Jan 10, 2020 rated it really liked it
Lush, and utterly atmospheric!
Alyxandria Ang
Jan 11, 2016 rated it liked it
For my full review and interview with the author, please check out www.thebooksbuzz.com!

**I received this book as an ARC from Penguin Random House. Any of my thoughts are honest and not based on this fact**

Katherine Catmull's writing is unlike any other author's on the YA market. Her eloquent writing and attention to detail sets the stage for a dark and spine-chilling read. Be prepared to travel back in time to your childhood, when fairies (*cough cough* the tooth fairy) and the monsters under y
Oct 14, 2015 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: teen
When Clare and her father move back to Ireland and the house that Clare was born in, Clare discovers memories of her dead mother that she had forgotten. Clare has always believed in the Strange, fairies and magic, makings that only she seems to notice in real life. Returned to her family home, Clare discovers that the Strange and fairies are real and have been in her life for some time. She remembers the powers of the yew tree that forms part of the house and serves as a gate to Timeless, the wo ...more
Mar 09, 2016 rated it liked it
Shelves: fey
This was really 3 1/2 stars for me - I really liked it, though it was a little uneven.
The main character was very well developed, but some of the rest needed a bit more.
Can't stand the cover image - they could have done so much better with all the vibrant images called up by this story (not least the one described in the title).
Who was the narrator? Because there was definitely a "teller" at times, but his/her link to the story wasn't clear. Still, it made it all seem even more like a tale hand
Sep 03, 2015 rated it liked it
Shelves: young-adult
This is a very difficult book to review. Please note I read a galley, not a finished book.

Catmull's book is basically a fairy story, though they are called the Strange in her world. Her main character, Clare, learns she and the women of her family are the guardians of one of the fairy gates in Ireland. These gates allow the fairy access to the human world and vice versa. Clare soon discovers here is an evil fairy named Balor who wants to shut the gates forever, and it is up to her and her half f
Mary Bronson
Wow, I thought this was a very unique and amazing book. I thought the plot and characters were very well written. Once I got started it was hard to put down. I loved Clare as a main character. She was such a strong independent young heroin. I loved how this was a story about facing your fears and believing in magic and the inner power of dreaming. I love her friendship with Finn. Now I think I will read Katherine's other book Summer and Bird. ...more
Jan 11, 2016 marked it as dnf
DNF at page 166.

at first this reminded me a bit of THE HALLOWEEN TREE in that it had a story teller's quality to it. Like someone telling it to a room of children, not a writer penning words for a reader.

It didn't keep my interest though. Catmull did a wonderful job with the lyrical quality, and I wonder if this would appeal to me more in audio form for that reason.
Mar 24, 2016 rated it it was amazing
This book is absolutely AMAZING. I could not put it down, got plenty book-drunk on it as it lends itself well to daydreaming. I'm so sad to see it end (but I was satisfied with the ending) and I'll certainly be reading any future Katherine Catmull books! Lovely, lovely book. I hope my children will read it down the road. ...more
Wow, what a gorgeous dream of a book. I don't usually read books about fairies, but I just couldn't resist the beautiful cover. The imagery, the poetry, the words were all so haunting. I understand why this book wouldn't be for everybody , but its one of those books that you feel was meant for you to read, at the right time and the right place. ...more
Emily Grant
Feb 03, 2019 rated it liked it
Sigh. I went into this thinking it might turn out to be a 5-star book. It started so strong for me personally. It was delightfully eerie; references to the Strange right from the beginning had me hooked. Clare was a great MC. She was likable and real and had a good attitude; she didn't complain at all even though she and her dad kept moving around the globe. (Any other character who moves to a new place at the beginning of a book, or back to an old place in Clare's case, would normally be bitter ...more
Nov 05, 2017 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: dnf
So I couldn't bring myself to finish this. I was reading it via audiobook and the narrator was great, but the book itself just wasn't to my liking. The main reason was the because the characters were not created well. And they just seemed aloof, even in stressful situations. The main character (whose name I can't even remember. And I have been listening to it for a few weeks now) is just kinda ... ugh... dumb? And she has literally no backbone but shes "stubborn?" The book has described as stubb ...more
Oct 27, 2021 rated it it was amazing
Fun faerie-tale story woven story of magic, friendship, and self-discovery set in a dream-like landscape, and filled with fairies.

The story is about solitary and shy almost 15-year old Irish-American Clare Macleod and Finn a half-fairy Irish boy fighting to save the gate to the fairies' world. Clare learns that she is the guardian of a gate between worlds.

Clare has just moved back to her childhood home in Ireland, a place she and her father haven’t returned to since her mother died. The home is
Really lovely writing but this kind of story is not my thing. I enjoyed the beginning where Clare describes her early life in Ireland with her mother and father in their stone cottage with the tree inside of it. Her mother’s death cause Clare and her father to move to America for Dad’s job. They move often and Clare has no friends. But it’s not because of the constant moves, it’s because Clare believes in fairies. Years of teasing cause her to deny her belief but when she and Dad move back to th ...more
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