Wednesday, March 23, 2016

REVIEW: Emma and the Banderwigh (Tales of Widowswood, #1) by Matthew S Cox

*** (3) out of 5 stars

This was a rather odd tale.  The world the author creates is very different from our modern one.  Several little things highlight this, from descriptions of their surroundings and living arrangements (including a family bed!), to tales of fantastic beasts and magic creatures.  Some of the dialogue seems forced and false, probably a result of trying to create a dialect similar enough to ours to be understood and different enough to be distinctive.   

Most of the characters are very believable and quite affable.  The main character, Emma, is an amazing child, mature beyond her years, and incredibly brave.  In fact, it is she who defeats the Banderwigh, not just once but twice, and even actually saves the man he was, although it does little good in the end.  

The hardest part for me to believe was that Emma was so oblivious, prior to the events of the book, to the fact that her mother and grandmother were apparently some type of Druid priestesses, dispensing justice and assistance as they saw fit to humans and non-humans alike.  Even for someone who admittedly was a non-believer prior to this, missing the fact that your mother returns home from a walk in the woods with green blood on her staff from mythical creatures that she’s been clubbing and that your grandmother often has feathers flying around her from her shape-shifting forays as a raven is rather hard to believe.  

Some large sections of the story just seemed to go back and forth between nothing, with scenes written just for the sake of writing them and adding to the word count, rather than actually advancing the plot.  Those portions I found boring and more than a tad annoying.  

Overall, however, the story was good, definitely unique, and I appreciated the relatively happy and yet realistic ending for the main characters.  A book that I would recommend for a fanciful read, if you can make it through the slow parts.   

I received a copy of this book free from Curiosity Quills Press in exchange for my honest review. 

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