I learned a vital lesson today – never swap your hound for a bow. Because if you do, you will become a most evil person. The End.
*** warning a very light smattering of spoilers ahead ***
The Shadow Things
by Jennifer Freitag
I think that I’ve pretty much established on this blog that I really like Rosemary Sutcliff’s books. This book possesses echoes of her style – in the beautiful prose which almost reads like poetry.
First of all … the description from Goodreads:
The Legions have left the province of Britain and the Western Roman Empire has dissolved into chaos. With the world plunged into darkness, paganism and superstition are as rampant as ever. In the Down country of southern Britain, young Indi has grown up knowing nothing more than his gods of horses and thunder; so when a man from across the sea comes preaching a single God slain on a cross, Indi must choose between his gods or the one God and face the consequences of his decision.
This isn’t a clichéd book. Seriously. It isn’t. The twists and turns I found to be entirely unexpected – especially the ending.
And it isn’t a pleasant ‘let’s eat rainbows and ride unicorns’ tale. Oh no, of course not. There was a particular character who only appeared in a few scenes yet who I grew attached to. I was rooting for her survival. She was so wittle and cute. But then, then … she wasn’t.
The part of this book (this adventure if we’re going with the theme of this blog) which really stood out to be was the scene where Procyon is explaining to Indi about creation. It’s so beautiful, so right.
But all these beauties we see are but dreams in the night, whispers of a hope to come beyond the end of this Age, that wonderful Other Thing.
Even if you don’t fancy going on this particular adventure, this book is worth getting just for this scene, this explanation.
My favourite characters were Llyeln, Tade and Mylor.
And Indi – not for the boy he was, but for the man he becomes.
All in all, this was a book which grew on me. I think that perhaps I enjoyed the latter end rather than the beginning. There were parts which left a frown on my brow – but then, human beings never seem to act in quite the way I expect them to. Apparently, this is the same with fiction.
As the build up to the climax commenced and I realised that a certain something was going to happen, I grew resigned to it – and interested on just how Jennifer Freitag was going to illustrate it. Quite intently interested, to be honest. BUT THEN …
*dramatic music plays*