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Book Review: The Knowing



The Knowing by Kevan Manwaring is slotted into the Paranormal & Urban Fantasy category on Amazon, but I think it has a much wider appeal than that. This tale manages to span centuries, continents, and realms while remaining eminently readable. On the surface it's the story of a woman coming to terms with her inherited Second Sight ability and the losses she has faced in life. But beneath that level lurks the age-old folklore of Scotland and the Appalachians, sister lands, and the possibility that there's more to existence than just those things our scientific instruments can measure.

Manwaring's novel feels true in the way that certain stories do, as if the author hadn't written it so much as discovered it, already complete and ready to be revealed. I always enjoy any book that portrays the Fey as the crafty, dangerous being they are; no sparkly Victorian winged flowers here. I won't give away the long series of twists, turns, and surprises this tale offers, except to say that humans have always had a tendency to believe what they want to about other kinds of beings, and that tends to end badly much of the time. Thankfully, the heroine of this story learns better very quickly.

The author is a talented British storyteller; bits of British speech and idiom creep in throughout the tale even though the main characters (the human ones, anyway) are American. Fortunately, this just adds to the overall charm of the work.

Like the Fey and the plot, the e-book itself is full of cunning entanglements. The author has managed to put together a multi-layered reading experience that drifts between times and places but still flows and feels cohesive. Though Manwaring offers the reader the option of plowing through the main narrative first and then reading the secondary sections, I strongly recommend following each embedded link as you come to it, then returning to the larger story where you left off. You'll be richly rewarded.

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Copyright © 2020 by Laura Perry