I have one major problem with this series of books (From the Ashes and Into the Storm preceded this one). It takes too bloody long between installments. Fortunately Meghan is such a gifted storyteller that it takes no effort at all to get back up to speed. This is billed as a trilogy, so this book brings it to an end. The stories will continue however, as a new series must surely be in the offing, as well as a site which will contain short stories (Faire-Folk.com).
There is less magick in this installment, as it is more focused on relationships - familial and otherwise. Although, realistically, I should probably have said both family and chosen family, since the rennies are a family of choice.
Meghan lives the life she chronicles in these books, having joined the world of Ren Faires in 1994. She began collecting and sharing stories and has promised to continue telling them for so long as there is "sky left to hear them."
I look forward to hearing more of these stories, even if some of the characters will be falling by the wayside. I've come to know a lot of the folks at the Pendragon Ren Fire and have developed feelings for them, but many of them are not "road rennies" so they obviously won't be cropping up at other sites. Still, I am sure that Meghan will have another crop of people I can grow to care for. I look forward to the new crop of weekenders in Following the Desert Sun (Scheherazade Faire in Arizona). It is very easy to relate to these individuals, since we run into many of them on a day-today basis.
Meghan provides a glossary and character list at the back of the book and that is a handy addition. It does take a while to get locations, people and relationships all in their correct order and these guides make it easy. Although this is a part of a developing story, it is capable of standing alone. Like any good series, this book leaves you wishing you had the next volume in hand so you don't have to wait for the next installment.
Ryna and Phoenix have added to their family through the birth of Keenan, and we get to see the interactions of all the rennies with the mommies and their son. We also get to see more of the interactions with Phoenix's birth family (and what a revelation that is).
I could mention all my usual quibbles about editing, but since there are fewer than I have come to expect, and they are really very minor, so I'll just say they exist, but are so minor they don't jar you out of the flow of the story.
Considering the number of ren faires which exist,
I am sure that Meghan could continue telling these stories for decades
(and I hope she provides at least another half dozen or more). Now,
if she could just get them out a little more frequently, I would be
a very happy reader and reviewer.
Out of the Broom Closet by Arin Murphy-Hiscock (Editor) © 2009 Adams Media ISBN: 978-1-59869-891-6 243 pages Paperback $12.95 (U.S.)
Before I begin my review of this long-awaited book
(the editor was changed part-way through the creation process) I must
admit that I have a personal involvement. My story is one of the 50
True Stories of Witches Who Found and Embraced the Craft, and
a received payment for my contribution. So, if that makes you feel
that you cant trust my review to be unbiased, I suggest you
stop reading right now.
Heres a shocking, little-know fact about me: This is the first graphic novel Ive ever read. Oh, I read comic books when I younger, and the occasional Illustrated Classic (comics with a redeeming moral purpose getting kids to read literature like Moby Dick, Journey to the Center of the Earth, etc.). But since I began reviewing books I have not tackled a single graphic novel. Im not sure why I have avoided them, but I have.
I probably would have passed this book over if it werent a part of a continuing series I have been reading since the initial volume came out. Ive always preferred to allow my imagination to supply the details in stories I read thats why I read a book BEFORE seeing the movie when possible. Still, I decided to give this book a try.
To be honest, I did not enjoy this book as much as the preceding volumes. The illustrations border on being anime, which is not one of my favorite styles, and the plot seemed a little thin. It did provide a good bit of the background which has only been hinted at previously, and that was its purpose. There isnt really a story to be told, but thats okay.
Im not sure if this is going to be the future of this series. I personally hope not. I really prefer the written word over the illustrated style. That, however, is a personal bias and may not reflect the current thinking of the publishing world. I am sure that Ms. Stolarz will continue this series for at least a few more volumes, since the potential is still there for more stories to be told.
The Magicians by
Lev Grossman © 2009 Viking ISBN: 978-0670020553 402 pages