Review of In Other Lands by Sarah Rees Brennan
This is the epitome of glorious young adult fantasy, but the book is truly character driven. I loved it.
Oh, this book! In Other Lands is the epitome of glorious young adult fantasy—there’s a portal; there are mermaids, elves, harpies, trolls, and all the rest; there’s a school to train up promising young teens; and there are interspecies conflicts.
BUT the book is truly character driven. (Elliott!) It’s really about personal growth, knowing your own mind and holding convictions, demonstrating loyalty to others, letting go of people who don’t have your best interests at heart, forging unlikely bonds, becoming vulnerable to love, and making (and suffering through others’) mistakes and forgiving and being forgiven—with an otherworldly backdrop of battles, learning other species’ languages and customs, and attempting to forge treaties among warring groups.
Plus there are the supremely clever and extremely funny ways in which gender roles and stereotypes are frequently turned on their heads. I listened to this and LOVED Matthew Lord Davies’ narration of Sarah Rees Brennan’s lovely book. I kept laughing out loud. Love!
What did you think?
I keep thinking about this book. Elliot's voice was so dry and distinct, I adored it. And there is so very much else to delight in here.
Brennan mentions Tamora Pierce's Immmortals series (the first book is Wild Magic) as inspiration for this one. I haven't read that one yet, have you?