What is a portal fantasy if it’s not precisely a portal fantasy? What if two worlds—ours and one with magic—collide? When they do, and the fate of the world(s) rests on two people who are trying to be everything they can, that’s when things get interesting. Anne Miles’ Sorrowfish explores all these topics and more, and it was quite a read.
1. Thoughts on the plot
For once in my reading life, I actually read the blurb of the book I’m meant to be reviewing before reading the book. In this particular instance, the blurb tells very little about this story. We follow two characters in two worlds. Sara is an art student from Louisville, Kentucky, who is trying to find the inspiration to finish her final project. Instead, she is distracted by her twin sister, who is in a coma, and trying to come to terms with that. Then, we have Dane. He is a dewin, a person naturally attuned to the Song, illegally crafting musical instruments in order to save his world from people corrupting the Song. Only, in his craftings, he is pulling Sara to his world through her dreams.
At first, I had absolutely no idea what was going to happen in this book. The two worlds being written about, while equally interesting on their own, seemed to have nothing to do with one another, nor no intersection points where one is drawn to the other. Once I got into the story, however, the disparity made itself clear and that’s when things got really fascinating. The plot here was very interesting, as it managed to contain two complete stories while also intersecting together into almost a third story. Expertly woven.
2. Thoughts on the characters
The characters in this book were wildly different. It is rare that I get a chance to read about a character who fits perfectly into our world intermingling with one who fits perfectly into his own. Usually, in stories of this sort, the main character doesn’t fit and they end up finding their place in the other world. This was not the case here, and it was a great take on the concept of portal fantasy. I found the characters—all of them, in fact, including the secondary characters—to be very well crafted, with depth and enough mystery to be very, very realistic.
3. Favourite part
I think the gnomes were perhaps my favourite, as they were almost underestimated by everybody, but were actually doing precisely what they intended all along. Such fun to read, too!
My only real critique for this novel is that the blurb doesn’t do the story justice. It doesn’t explain much of anything about the two worlds, the dangers that lie with each, any of it. If it were not for my reading this for review, I would have passed over the book entirely based on the blurb. I am very, very glad I did not.
Overall, I thoroughly enjoyed this book. The story was quirky and entertaining, the characters were wonderfully written and the prose was smooth and fun to read. An excellent book.