Friday, March 21, 2014

Fiction Friday (26)

Last month I happened to be Austin, Texas on the day that the third book in the Middle Grade series Wildwood came out, and by good luck, Colin Meloy and Carson Ellis were making an in-store appearance at a local independent shop. Having been a long time fan of Colin's band The Decemberists, I eagerly read the first two wonderful books in the series and couldn't wait for the new one which would wrap up the first saga in this peculiar world. I finally finished reading it this morning and it was a fantastic piece of storytelling.

Wildwood Imperium by Colin Meloy
(Harper, 2014)

The third book in the Wildwood series is arguably the best of the three, which is saying a lot considering the first two were near flawless. But in this concluding chapter of the story that began three years ago with the first novel, Colin Meloy truly hits his stride, cementing himself as one of the finest storytellers of his generation.

The story opens with the main characters scattered throughout the various locations in the city of Portland and sections Impassable Wilderness where they each had been left at the end of Under Wildwood. Several months have passed, and many changes have taken place within the province of South Wood following the revolution orchestrated by Prue and Curtis in the first novel. Though things seem to have returned to a sense of normality, disruptive forces are at work under the surface, and once again the children are tasked with setting things right.

Several story lines are at work in this novel, from the battle in the Industrial Wastes and Prue's quest to find the other Maker in order to fulfill the Council Tree's prophecy, to Curtis's search for the Missing bandits and the return of the Dowager Governess trying to complete her dastardly plan from the first novel. Needless to say, there is a lot of story happening in these 580+ pages, and somehow all of them manage to be perfectly paced and woven together to deliver a unforgettable climax and remarkably executed conclusion to the entire saga.

These books are destined to become classics, read for generations.

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