My rating: 3 of 5 stars
It is interesting to me that the first book to halt me in my headlong and gleeful devouring of the series was this book set in Wales, the fourth book in the series, set in the thin grey rain of Snowdonia. It is not the Wales-ness of this book that stopped me (though partially, yes, it is, the dense nature of those mythological references that when they meant nothing to me, they very much meant nothing), but rather the way that this book did not seem to mean anything to me until those last few pages where it suddenly meant everything. And I find that so intriguing, the way my perception of a book can turn so wholly on a denouement, of the drawing of threads together to make a tightly woven masterpiece.
So Cooper is good, yes? If you have read my previous reviews of this series, you’ll know that. You’ll know her soaring, graceful, double-edged prose and be familiar with it. I think, in a way, reading these books is teaching me more about writing and my attitude towards it. It is not a fantasy series for me at the moment, it is a series about that grey area between the worlds of reality and imagination, about those places where we fall through and touch the stories that have built us and brought us to where we are. And that’s amazing and wondrous and something quite special, and something that will also keep me reading past pages where nothing very much happens because I know that, at some point, everything, but everything will happen.