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The GREYING: Book One: The Landland Chronicles (Volume 1) Paperback – February 13, 2014
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"Warlight" by Michael Ondaatje
A dramatic coming-of-age story set in the decade after World War II, "Warlight" is the mesmerizing new novel from the best-selling author of "The English Patient." Pre-order today
About the Author
ABOUT THE AUTHOR -- Over the last twenty-five years, the Author has exhibited a creative bent across a range of industries in graphic design including trompe l'oeil murals, and has lectured in Fine Arts. His education included art history, literature and creative writing. Works include play scripts and short stories. The Greying is his first published novella, with further books planned as part of the fantasy series. He draws inspiration from myth, legend, and fairy tales. He lives on the Sunshine Coast in Queensland, Australia with his partner Kerri, and daughter Ruby.
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Top customer reviews
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Lost and alone she is washed up on a distant shore where everything has lost its colour. She meets Mermie and Dalff who have been waiting for her arrival to help them find the lost colours. They insist she is called Teah the thinking girl. I really enjoyed the mix of myth, legend, and history to create this magical place. I wanted to taste hot-sap tea and meet a Pitterpatterdell. Some of the names made me smile, their simplicity was refreshing in fantasy Josh O'Tosh, Bill MacIll, Ani Stout and Danar Long.
Teah must go and find a sage called The Biggo who seems to know just where she is and what she might need, he sends Spike with messages of encouragement in her quest to retrieve the Black thing and the Book of Colours. Her path is troubled by many adventures, but slowly with help she finds herself and her lost parts and with friends and brave Pictish warriors she discovers just what or who is causing the sinister tap, tap tapping and together with the Biggo they set off on more adventures in Landland.
I think this is a good fantasy world and the mix of adventure and myth worked well. I have my own historical interest in the ogam language and was thrilled to see it included in this tale.
This review is based on a free copy of the book given to me by the author.
The Greying is a fantasy tale rooted in folklore. There’s adventure, mystery, and a struggle to find a stolen object that may hold the key to pushing back “the greying” that creeps through the world and steals away all color. It’s a classic hero’s journey, not unlike most other fantasy stories, until it takes a metafictional twist: When Meah recovers her memory and her real name, she discovers that the world of Landland is a story written by her father -- and being re-written by her aunt. Fantasy and reality are overlapping, and Meah may be the key to setting the fantasy world to rights.
As I read The Greying, I wished I had a niece or nephew at the proper age to appreciate this book. Alas, mine are all well into YA and adult novel territory. It’s appropriate for middle-grade and “tween-aged” readers, and I would also recommend this as a parent-read book for younger children. American readers will notice right away that this is written in British English, with a few spelling and grammatical differences that aren’t difficult to navigate. (The author is Australian.)
At first, I was a bit put off by the half-assed placenames. The introductory map showed me places called, Landland, Bigriverland, Dead Forest, Big Lake and Big City. Really? C’mon. But when we finally meet the mysterious Biggo, the naming convention makes much more sense and the reveal made me chuckle. The writing can be simplistic, more “tell” than “show” and is often expository. The style is similar to the storytelling of early fairy tales, and I believe it's intentional.
The Greying suffers from a lack of illustrations. There are many fanciful creatures, scary things, and magical places described within the book. It’s my opinion that chapter illustrations would help bring more life to the story and add another layer of richness overall. Another problem that jarred me was the sudden appearance of named characters without introduction or explanation. Young readers are smarter than we give them credit for, and they may wonder, as I did, "Where did these people come from?"
Overall, it’s a good book for young readers. Yes, people die in the story and the heroine deals with the grief of losing her mother, but these are issues that children face in real life and they are handled with compassion.
I received this book for free in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review. [...]
When her mother passes away, and Meah wants to cast her ashes into the sea, she tumbles into the water, and ends up in a world that’s completely different to her own. The world has succumbed to strange mists, called the Greying, because an evil Queen wants to take over Landland and rule it, instead of the rightful rulers. Meah soon enough makes new friends in this foreign world – friends who believes she is the savior destined to rescue them all from the cold, grey, colourless world and bring the colour back.
The story is more complicated than it sounds, especially as Meah discovers some things throughout the book, particularly about Landland and how it came to be. Meah is a naieve, young girl, and she struggles at first with the responsibilities she’s facing, and with ending up in this strange, new land, and of course dealing with her Mom’s passing. But Meah grows up a lot throughout the book. She learns a lot about the world, about herself, and her inner strength. Her new friends, and the villain she’s facing, form an original, creative mix of characters, and kids will enjoy the creativity the author used to come up with these characters.
I enjoyed the book, and I’m sure middle graders will love it. If anything, I would’ve liked to see more original place names – it feels as if all the creativity went to the characters and plot, and the setting didn’t get the same creativity juice – but apart from that, the book was highly entertaining. Recommended to middle grade fantasy fans (and older fantasy fans). I received a free copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.
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