4 out of 4 stars
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The Crystilleries of Echoland by Dew Pellucid is perhaps one of the most fascinating tales I have ever read. With accolades and awards from several festivals and contests, anyone who loves high fantasy stories will want to pick up this fast-paced adventure. I could make comparisons to Harry Potter and Chronicles of Narnia, but I feel The Crystilleries of Echoland is in a class of its own. I will play my hand early and say I give this book 4 out of 4 stars.
Will Cleary is an unusual twelve-year-old boy who lives in Alaska. He and his twin sister, Emily, disappeared when they were two. Their names joined countless others in a book called The Gravestone Book that listed everyone that has vanquished. Will inexplicably reappears with a wolf and a falcon as companions. With determination, Will sets out to find Emily and realizes he has to enter Echoland. Echoes, the residents of Echoland, are reflections of Sounds, those that live in Will’s domain. “Life begins twice. You see the Sounds. But you don‘t see their see-through reflections. They float away at birth.” After birth, the Echoes find their way to an underground place called Echoland. An eleven-day journey begins with Will partnering up with peculiar characters and dodging evil creatures called Fate Sealers. There is more at stake than Emily’s life, a kingdom is also in jeopardy.
Dew Pellucid took twelve years to conceptualize the world of Echoland. This is evident in the intricacies and details that are given throughout the story. She depicts a snowy land where crystal balls adorn every place imaginable, ice fairies floating around, sparkling streets, and buildings made of ice. There are beautiful illustrations throughout the book that aid in the visualization. I enjoyed exploring this whimsical, frigid world. The quirky personalities that Will engages with were even more entertaining. One of my favorites introduces himself this way: “Peter Patrick Peterson. Tongue twister by name, magician by fame. And this gorgeous mutt is Poudini. Houdini with a P…after the greatest magician ever. And after me. P for Peter Patrick Peterson. Get it?”
Amidst the epic adventure, Pellucid weaves in a moral lesson on diversity and acceptance. In Echoland, Sounds and Echoes don‘t mix. They forbid unions between the two and their children are called “mongrels.” The ones discriminated against realistically show anger and hopelessness. Expressed also is the pain and pressures that a mixed-race family has to endure. This was my favorite aspect of the story and I thought the author covered the subject creatively.
There was only one tiny error with a quotation mark. Otherwise, the editing was perfect. Pellucid delivers on an imaginative story full of mystery and intrigue. The elements of adventure and fantasy would appeal to the young and old who like to get lost in a new world.
The Crystilleries of Echoland
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