Semerau creates an intriguing tale of strength, perseverance, and wonder taking readers on a young woman’s journey to overcome devastating hurdles. After losing her horse during a perilous storm, Thorn, mounted Courier to the King, has no choice but to account for the loss of the King’s property. In order to restore the balance as required by the laws of the land, the young woman sets out on foot in the cold of dead winter. But with dangers lurking in every corner, fighting the elements is the least of her worries. The characters, other than Thorn, remain in the background, and have this vagueness to their persona but that does not detract from their appeal. Initially, the story seems to be presenting a familiar plotline about a young woman trying to stay alive amidst an unforgivable terrain. But Thorn isn’t just a naive young scribe. She has this relentless wanderlust for the unknown that makes her eternally curious. The story’s main focus lies in her venture into the world of the unseen. Semerau does a good job of moving Thorn’s story along while sustaining the threads (riddles, romance, and folklore) that come together and form the larger narrative. A peculiar and somewhat vague fantasy steeped in wonders of nature, time, history, and memory.
Categories: magical realism