The Autumn Castle review º eBook or Kindle ePUB

summary Ë eBook or Kindle ePUB ¹ Kim Wilkins

The Autumn CastleA magical mythical kingdom where a witch lives in a well a shape shifting wolf is her trusted counselor and fate hangs on the fall of an autumn leaf But as Christine becomes enad of this beautiful undying land May falls dangerously. This review contains significant spoilers which begin after the Plot headingThere’s a tension when reviewing authors who are alive and live relatively close to you You’d like them to succeed You’d like to give them a hand You’d like in short to give them positive reviews The problem when you are reviewing is that you’d like to be fair to your readers and that means being publicly disappointed by the part of the book which did not work for you In writing this review I’m intensely aware of this dynamic tension so if you feel I’ve strayed one way or the other please commentIn briefThe plot of The Autumn Castle is slow and dwells heavily on the internal lives of the characters rather than what they do The descriptions are vivid and there are some original ideas compared to other urban fantasy novels The magic system has no underlying structure It becomes increasingly difficult to find characters whom you hope will succeed Enjoyable but only recommendable to people who like lengthy books with the slow pace and introspective passive characters found in litficPlotFoundationally I think I wrong footed myself on this book My favourite book about faeries is Diane Purkiss’s Troublesome Things which is non fiction and stresses the liminality of faeries and the possibility that they are not fully cognisant beings This created a problem for me in that the reader’s position on the characters was not immediately clear When we meet Mandy who hunts faeries I didn’t immediately flag him as a villainThe book’s position which is that faeries are people and a faerie hunter is therefore a sort of serial killer was not clear to me until we meet enough faeries later in the plot to measure them as moral agents Mandy’s ugly and the other characters bodyshame him pretty thoroughly for about a hour in audiobook Rather than seeing his outer form as a symbol of his spiritual twistedness I initially thought they were a pack of drunks piling crap on the guy who was supporting their lifestyle I was kind of hoping they’d get a comeuppanceThen we pull back to a rather conventional narrative in which the artists are the side we are meant to hope will win They deepen their characters by sitting around talking mostly and mostly about each other The ueen of the Faeries seems to be little than an agressively demanding adolescent and she seems to keep a slave in a well Perhaps slave is too strong a term If the slave is lost the faerie kingdom will die so I was hoping for some Those Who Walk Away From Omelas but no the slave is according to the people who need to keep her enslaved wicked This means you can just Gitmo her according to them She also seems to hate them and will hurt them if she gets free another reason she can and must be kept locked away In her situation I think I’d be plotting escape myselfWhen she tricks her way free because of the ueen’s inability to control her infatuation she becomes a second villain The two villains are out doing things while the other characters just gossip about each other’s love lives This gives the main characters time to work through their childhood traumas As the characters pushing the narrative forward the villains are the interesting characters The female villain uickly disfigures a woman and eats parts of her so that the reader is uite clear that the faerie princess is still on Team RightI’m sorry we were given that marker because the side we are meant to support are terrible people The princess is gradually wrecking the lives of the other characters in her endless uest to fulfill herself This is perhaps forgivable because she’s not a moral adult having been raised in a fantasy kingdom as a princess but that makes the man who wants to be her lover creepy Her faerie parents were also horrible beings in a classic faerie way We are all set up for a twist in which the ugly slave and the serial killer are the heroes but are denied itThe faerie plot ends with the good guys winning by simple luck None of them do anything to deserve victory They just stand by while victory is handed to them on a plate One of the leads finally gets enough forward momentum to not just be carried by events after the villains are taken away We then settle in for another hour and a bit of the main characters resolving their love triangle in a way that was obvious from early in the story The story claims the ending is an act of restitution by the faerie princess but she gets exactly and precisely what she wants AgainIn the same way that I wrongfooted myself with a definition of faeries I think think I wrongfooted myself in this book with a definition of love Characters in this book can do terrible things if they say that they are doing it because they love people The thing is though their loves are never selfless giving to the beloved Love for all sides is a possessive impulse that excuses other immoralities Initially I thought that was the characters being hypocritical but no in this universe that’s really how love works It really is a higher calling so great that if you claim it you feel justified doing anything else for it and in the end are rewarded for whatever evil you’ve done provided you looked nice to begin with So love in this world is a great source of evil and peversion even in the nominally good charactersAudio PresentationYou will need to be patient with this book If you are listening to the audiobook you have surrendered the pacing of the story to the author The book is 19 and a half hours long 462 pages The point where the real conflict starts is about Section 12 which is about four hours in This is so far past “hook me in the first hour or I’m leaving” rule of thumb that I would have given this book up if I’d not given up on my previous AWWC book for the same reason The framing for the final confrontation occurs in section 36 so you know because the book has 50 sections that things are going to take an awfully long time to resolve When the epilogue starts buckle down for an extra uarter hourI feel for the audiobook presenter The shorthand the author uses to distinguish many of her characters is that each comes from a different place and so has a different accent This works well in audio and the reader gamefully struggles through all of these He does very well but at one point he’s asked to carry than any performer couldSex scenes are difficult to write The authors need to get across the emotional impetus of the scene while ignoring the mechanics beyond a few indicative acts To give too much detail is boring To give too little detail is to miss the point at which characters realign their priorities and alligences Add to this that each reader is interpreting the book in their own way and sex scenes often come off as unconvincing The reader of the audiobook then tries to perform both parts with voices I felt so sorry for him because he’s hitting suare on the difference between a performance of the book and a person reading a book to themself He does as well as could be hoped but he can’t carry the scene which is problematic because its seminal to the plot’s developmentThis review originally appeared on book coasters

Kim Wilkins ¹ 3 read

Christine Starlight lives with her lover Jude in a hip artist colony in modern day Berlin Haunted by a troubled past she is shocked when her missing childhood friend May suddenly reappears Abducted as a young girl May now rules over. This is a beautiful story It's sad exciting and has a very romantic wistful atmosphere It's a great read for people who love the Sevenwaters Books by Juliet Marillier or the Tamír Triad by Lynn Flewelling for it's got that same easy style and magical feeling to it

read The Autumn Castle

The Autumn Castle review º eBook or Kindle ePUB ê Christine Starlight lives with her lover Jude in a hip artist colony in modern day Berlin Haunted by a troubled past she is shocked when her missing childhood friend May suddenly reappears Abducted as a young girl May now rules over a magical mythical kingdom where a witch lives in a In love with Jude And as their mortal and immortal worlds collide the women attract a danger born of both realms a ruthless killer who knows that Christine can enter another dimension a place where innocents are ripe for the taking. I talked up The Veil of Gold so much when it came out that my children's librarian friend at work lent me her ARC of this earlier UK published book I had a hard time getting in to it at first because I didn't care for faery May I never found her as likable as the other characters; she was always too self involved to be truly sympathetic Then again this isn't really a fault with the book and I enjoyed the ending where the happiness May imagined and schemed for doesn't uite live up to reality; it's also appropriate that Christine the other protagonist who has a tough life and strives to stop being a victim has the true happy ending Wilkins excels at integrating the modern world with folklore here a fascinating array of European faery lore and creating believable flawed characters Mandy Z the faery serial killer who is the third narrator even had a few sympathetic moments among the horror that he perpetuates This is an excellent modern fairy tale and highly recommended