Book Review: The Wyrde Woods Novels
I reviewed this duo of magical tales some time ago in my newsletter, but somehow the review never cycled onto my blog, as I discovered when I wrote about Visser's most recent book a few weeks ago. I'm correcting that now.
This duo of books by Nils Visser is quite a trip! Escape from Neverland and Dance Into the Wyrd are two halves of a magical tale that weaves the modern world, the Otherworld, and the land itself into a compelling adventure. (Just a note: The two books aren't really stand-alones; you can read Escape from Neverland by itself but you really need to have read it first before starting Dance Into the Wyrd.)
I'll try to do this review without giving away any spoilers, but that's going to be hard.
Visser manages to combine the grimy world of the run-down modern city with the magic of the old woods and the Old Ways - and the result is a beautiful, touching story that made me alternately elated, angry, and sad. The main character is a teenage girl with a bad attitude - and who could blame her, given her background and her upbringing in a ratty juvenile care home? But when she steps into the Wyrde Wood and meets some very interesting people (human and otherwise), she has no choice but to change. What are her real values? Who, and what, is she willing to support and help and maybe even risk her life for?
This pair of books encompasses what you might call the hero's journey, but with a lot of marvelous twists. There's magic, and then there's Magic. There is power in the land, always has been. Sometimes it's just a matter of opening yourself up to it.
You can read an excerpt from Dance Into the Wyrd here. Visser's characterization of the broad Sussex accent is charming and really adds to the vibe of the books, I think.
So pick these up for an enjoyable read that will make you think, and wonder, and more.