Among Others by Jo Walton
My rating: 5 of 5 stars
What a magical (in multiple senses), captivating, engrossing, lyrical, poetic, superbly-written delight! 25 stars for this gem! I have not been so thrilled with a story since I read “I Capture the Castle.” I am now a total convert to the writings of Jo Walton, and plan to catch up on all I have unfortunately missed.
In a contemporary society where magic exists, fairies are real, magic is a useful (or sometimes not) tool-some folks know it and use it; some know but avoid it; and most folks just don’t know and can’t see and wouldn’t believe. Twins Morwenna and Morgana Phelps are the gifted daughters of a witch who is insane as well as magically powerful. She wants to be “the dark queen,” ruling the world, and the fairies of South Wales have enlisted the twins to halt her progress-with dire results.
Simultaneously fantasy, coming of age memoir (for it is written in the form of diary entries, in a very special fashion which makes it all mesh together winningly), process-of-maturation tale, witchcraft, magic, fairy, ghosts, the dead, English boarding school, Welsh culture, train journey, new romance-and tons and tons of wonderful explication of science fiction, because our heroine loves her books above all.
I don’t remember ever reading a book in which the author so well “wrote out my life.” I am reminded of those lines from the song “Killing Me Softly”: “I felt he had found my letters and read them all out loud.” What an absolutely incredible book is “Among Others.”
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