Veronica Strachan's Reviews > Greenhaelan

Greenhaelan by L.A. Webster
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really liked it

Who wouldn't want to be swept away from their safe, little life to an enchanted world full of magic? And of course, be given the opportunity to save the world from enemies and strife.
If your answer is 'count me in', then Greenhaelen is for you.
Debut author L.A. Webster has woven a classic portal fantasy in the Tales of Algarth Book 1, that works on so many levels.
The story telling style is unique and has a lyrical rhythm and cadence.
The reader follows an eclectic cast as they take on friends, enemies and government agents in their attempt to right wrongs and heal their dying land.
I liked Sara Martin, the disgruntled gardener tossed into another world. Her thoughts and actions were beautifully written and her arc from frightened and emotion-shy to stepping up to the challenges of friendship, independence and leadership were lovely to read - including some of the vacillating back and forth about decisions - would she - could she? Things were grey and more real for that. I enjoyed the angst of this mature woman still struggling with the scars of her youth and trying to control her world. Her way is not all smooth, but as well as Sara's leaps of faith and perseverance, there are a good crew of accompanying characters. I'm hoping to learn more about them in forthcoming books as, for some, their page time was a little slim for me and they didn't leap into my mind fully formed like Sara.
The portal transition from Sydney to the mystical island of Algarth is really well done. Webster's world building has a deft touch that ensures the focus remains on the characters as they drive the story forward, but gives us enough to bring a strong sense of the beauty and heartbreak of troubled Algarth.
I also enjoyed the cli-fi thread with the overlay of our own climate challenges which seeds some important messages for our future and those who wield the power to aid or stop action on climate change.
Great conflict, characters and cli-fi.
I'm looking forward to the next instalment.
I was delighted to receive an ARC copy of Greenhaelen, but I will be buying my own copy to keep on the 'read-this-again' pile.
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Reading Progress

June 6, 2019 – Shelved
June 6, 2019 – Shelved as: to-read
January 31, 2020 – Started Reading
February 4, 2020 – Finished Reading

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