Celandine - Steve Augarde

"There are some things we can only imagine, Celandine. But this does not mean they are not truly there ... The truth may never be as obvious as it seems, my dear, and the unlikely is not always the impossible."

Celandine is second of a planned trilogy which started with The Various. The Various are a few tribes of "little people" who survive among the Gorji (us giants), protected by our disbelief. This book takes place long before the first, at a time when the Ickri (the winged tribe) is seeking the tribe of Naiads further south. There's a legend that the Touchstone they hold once joined with the Orbis, left behind with the Naiads, and gave them tremendous power. Running out of options, they decide to abandon their dwindling territory and seek out their old brothers.

Celandine (who we glimpsed in the first book) has encountered the Various on Howard's Hill, and later is sent away to boarding school. There, she encounters the sort of spitefulness that's only to be found, apparently, in boarding schools. She makes a plan to run away from school to live with the Various.

The backdrop to all of this is the war, which is also reflected in the struggle between the Ickri and Naiad tribes. Celandine is somehow related to Midge (from the first book), but I don't remember exactly how. We get glimpses of Midge here, in Celandine's visions, but they're vague allusions without much explanation.

I think one of the most impressive things about this book is that, aside from those glimpses of Midge, the book stands pretty well on its own. You don't have to have read The Various to make sense of this one, because the characters are almost all different, in a different era. There are a few things that are more significant if you know what happens later, but it's not necessary to enjoy the book.

The writing is excellent and held my interest, and is unlike any of the other young adult series I've read. I'm eager for the final volume but I don't think there's a release date yet.

For parents: The book is definitely not intended for young children. There's only a little strong language, but it does get frightening at times, and the vicious way the boarding school girls treat each other is probably not appropriate for little kids. Older kids, however, may relate to the sort of peer pressure and teasing that goes on.

Fed to jonathan's brain | March 01, 2007 | Comments (0)


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