Monday, September 11, 2017

Review: The Changeling's Journey

The Changeling's Journey
by Christine Spoors
Genre: Young Adult, Fantasy
Publication date: July 31, 2017
Published by: Christine Spoors
Paperback, 409 pages
My rating: 3.5/5 ★

Ailsa is dead. Leaving Morven the last surviving changeling in the village. Everyone knows it is only a matter of time before she too is dead. Desperate to find out why the fairies steal human babies, and to save her own life, she leaves her family behind, travelling north into the fairy kingdoms with her best friend.

They soon find that making their way through vast magical forests, across kelpie-ridden lochs and over seemingly endless mountain ranges is more than they were prepared for. Despite the countless evenings spent listening to stories about adventures, fairies and magic, they find themselves out of their depth. Fighting to stay alive.

Meanwhile in the fairy kingdoms, Princess Freya of Culhuinn struggles to cope with life now that her love has been taken from her. Whilst Queen Euna of Norbroch spends more time lost in her memories than she does ruling her kingdom.

Overall, The Changeling's Journey was a very good book. It features a great cast of diverse characters, beautiful friendships and a truly magical world. Still, something was missing to make this an excellent, 5 star read for me.

The story is told from three different points of view: Morven, a changeling who is traveling north with her best friend to find out more about herself and changelings in general; Princess Freya, the heir to the throne of Culhuinn, one of the fairy kingdoms; and Queen Euna, one of two queens of the northernmost fairy kingdom of Norbroch.

Morven's perspective was definitely my favorite. Her friendship with Glen is what really stood out to me in the entire book and I enjoyed reading about their adventures on their journey north. I also liked reading from Queen Euna's perspective up in the northernmost kingdom, but I will admit that the very extensive flashbacks were sometimes a little too much for me. Last but not least, the point of view of Princess Freya. At first, I really enjoyed her perspective as well, but I will say that throughout the book, her chapters were the ones I had the most issues with.

Christine's writing style is very agreeable to me. It's quite plain and straight-forward, but I kind of liked that. I was still able to picture the world she created very vividly without her using the fanciest words out there (that I would've most likely had to look up anyway), and that's what's most important to me. One thing that I feel could be improved are the dialogues. I'm someone who lives for great dialogue, and I found this to be a little lacking in The Changeling's Journey.

As to the plot, it was overall well developed and I really enjoyed that it was clearly inspired by Scottish folklore, as this is something I'm not too familiar with but now realize I quite like to read about. One thing that bothered me a little was how convenient everything always ended up for the characters. There were multiple problems throughout the story that the characters were faced with, yet they always seemed to resolve themselves very easily. I was always waiting for something to not work out as planned for once, but it never did. While I appreciate not adding unnecessary drama, it still felt a little too easy and convenient most of the times.

As to one other point I want to mention, I'm going to put a spoiler warning, so I recommend only reading the next paragraph it you've read the book.

But even with all of this that I think could be improved, The Changeling's Journey did have one thing: it got me hooked and it made me want to keep reading, and I feel like that's the most important! I think Christine did a wonderful job with her first book, and I absolutely admire her for putting so much work into this book and then publishing it on her own - it totally paid off, and I can't wait to see her future work!

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