4 out of 4 stars
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The Crystilleries of Echoland by Dew Pellucid is a young adult fictional novel full of betrayal, life-threatening escapades, the search to uncover the truth, and discovery. Pellucid also approaches in a captivating manner concepts such as racism, equality, sanctity of life, bullying, and kidnapping. Although geared towards mature young adult readers, this novel will appeal to anyone that wishes to escape into a world of intrigue.
Echoland is named for the place where the translucent beings that are called Echoes live. Those that live in what the reader considers the human world are considered Sounds. For every Sound there is an Echo and if something happens to one of the beings, there are negative repercussions to the other. Within Echoland there are charms that can read past events, open doors, and other wondrous magic – each one different from the other. These charms – crystillaries – have been deemed illegal by the current ruler and thrown into a lake of frozen abyss.
You first meet Will, a twelve year old boy who has spent his life dealing with the loss of his sister, Emmy. When Emmy and Will were one year old they were both kidnapped. No one knows exactly what happened, but Will returned with a wolf (Damian) and falcon (Dea') a short time later. Since that time, Will's parents have been obsessed with finding Emmy – his father in books, his mother in water. Through a twist of events, Will – along with Dea' and Damian – travels to the parallel mystical universe of Echoland. There, with the help of his friends, Will ventures to find Emmy and bring her home.
While in Echoland, Will faces issues of segregation and racism as there are many sects of individuals who reside there. One’s role in society is determined primarily by his birth – and those of mixed birth are shunned by all. While this type of behavior seems foreign and appalling to Will, those that reside in the land accept it as a way of life. The current ruler over the land is rumored to have disposed of the previous king and the rightful heir’s life is at risk. In disguise, Will enters Echoland as a castaway and resides in a fortress where those in charge are split between those either out to protect or to dispose of him. While there he finds Emmy, however he cannot simply take her home as the laws of Echoland do not permit anyone to simply leave. Through many twists and turns, near death adventures and the search for truth, Will ventures to bring the rightful king to the throne and make his family whole once more.
It took a few chapters before I began to enjoy The Crystilleries of Echoland. There is an extensive amount of description of every aspect of both Will’s known world and that of Echoland. While some background is necessary to give the reader a complete picture of the worlds and those who reside within them, Pellucid provides an overabundance of information that becomes confusing and drawn out. Once Will establishes himself at the home for castaways, however, I found myself engrossed in the novel. As Will makes friends – and discovers enemies – and as the story begins to reveal the deception and corruption within Echoland, Pellucid captivates the reader.
This novel would interest mature young adult readers who appreciate a multifaceted mythical story. While those age 15 and older may enjoy this novel, I would not recommend this anyone younger or those of the faint of heart. There are some events in the novel that become quite gruesome and violent. Divided into 63 short chapters, The Crystilleries of Echoland may be read in one sitting or a few chapters at a time. There were no notable grammatical errors and the text seemed to be professionally edited. Aside from dredging through the couple of chapters of information at the beginning, The Crystilleries of Echoland warrants a 4 out of 4 star rating.
The Crystilleries of Echoland
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