4 out of 4 stars
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Stretch your imagination for a bit. Consider this. What if there were two of you? And no, not a twin. Another you going by your own name and surname, similar to you in every way. Just another copy. Then, imagine meeting such a person face-to-face. What would you say? You probably consider this ridiculous, fascinating, or even impossible. Well when it comes to books, nothing is impossible.
The Crystelleries of Echoland by Dew Pellucid is a book in the Young Adults Genre. In this book, the author brings to life a tale about something only the wildly imaginative would consider. Another Realm. Another reality---Echoland. Echoland is a mystical world with fairies, animals that can be flown upon, scented and flavoured waterfalls, and lakes with diamonds underneath, just to name a few amazing features. A world very much different from ours, except for one detail, its citizens are a complete duplicate of persons in the human world. In Echoland, the human world is referred to as the Sound Realm. Humans are called Sounds, and every Sound has another him or her called an Echo, living in Echoland. As Deà so nicely explains, “It happens all the time. Life begins twice. You see Sounds. But you don’t see their see-through reflection. They float away at birth: flowers, trees, animals...people. Rain washes them into rivers. And the rivers wash them into Echoland.”
Our protagonist, Will Cleary, is a twelve-year-old boy who disappeared along with his twin sister, Emmy, from their parents home when they were just two years old. The only thing is just one week later, Will returned, without his twin. Everyone had questions, but who could they ask? All anyone knew was that a wolf and a falcon brought him back. He kept babbling their names: Deà, Damian. Ten years have gone by, but still, the search for his sister continues. Who kidnapped them in the first place? Will Emmy ever be found? Why return one child? Who would keep a child hostage for ten years?
Once again Will's life is threatened. For a law governs Echoland. That when a Sound dies, his Echo would die also, or evil times would follow. William Cleary's Echo (second him), is the Prince of Echoland, and somebody wants the prince dead. Killing the prince wouldn’t be murder if the law commands it. For that to happen, his Sound must be killed. And who would notice if a twelve-year-old boy just strangely dies? Or so the conspirators thought. Therefore putting Will's life in imminent danger, for if he dies, his Echo, the prince, would be condemned to death.
Before reading The Crystelleries of Echoland, I wasn’t particularly interested in books in this genre, for reasons that suddenly seem absurd. The writer deserves commendation for a well-written book, with a beautiful plot and expertly developed characters. Each character was unique, had its own story but somehow, everything was linked. What I liked best about this book was the plot itself. Reading through, I couldn’t help but wonder how one just sits and begins to imagine all of this. Beyond imagining, the author painted such vivid pictures with words, it felt like I was in Echoland. I wasn’t surprised when I found out at the end of the book that it had taken the author twelve years to imagine Echoland.
Although every character was special, Aurelius was one character I was most drawn to. The Mongrel (half Sound, half Echo) that was treated as an outcast in Echoland. Aurelius, who hated his own father. The poor boy who grew up in hiding because he was considered an abomination, but who later found a home in a different world where he was seen as unique and beautiful. I felt his pain and rejoiced at his happiness. The book served really thought-provoking themes like betrayal, vengeance, friendship and the quest for redemption. It was suspenseful and at no point boring.
There were, however, a few downsides. I noticed one punctuation and spelling error. Illyria was spelt 'Ilyria' in chapter 60. The pages were not numbered, there were only chapters. I also thought most of the illustrations were sort of too intense and off-putting. Even the cover photo wasn’t very inviting. I almost skipped on this book because of that. Concerning the story itself, we are told that the Killing Law condemns an Echo to death once his Sound dies. Dew Pellucid, an Echo, is described as ‘ancient’ and ‘toothless.’ Is that to say that somewhere in the human realm, there exists an ancient woman with no teeth who still has the strength to run an orphanage? Since the fact that Pellucid is alive only means her Sound is too.
Nevertheless, The Crystelleries of Echoland is an incredible story and one that I enjoyed from start to finish. Hence, I have no qualms whatsoever rating this book as 4 out of 4 stars. I would recommend it to lovers of books in the Young Adults Genre and to anyone seeking a visit to a world different from ours.
The Crystilleries of Echoland
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