Monday, June 23, 2014

The Word Changers

Title: The Word Changers

Series: None

Year: 2014

Author: Ashlee Willis

Summary: Her parents’ marriage is falling apart. Fifteen-year-old Posy feels her life is falling apart with it. Retreating to an old library down the street, she selects a mysterious book in a secluded corner and is magically drawn into its story...

Posy finds herself in a kingdom ruled by a cruel and manipulative king and queen who have attempted to usurp the role that belongs only to the Author of their story. The princess has fled and the kingdom is teetering toward rebellion. Posy is joined by the Prince Kyran as they fight with the characters of the story against their slavery to the Plot.

Posy and the prince search beyond the borders of the story for the runaway princess. They visit mysterious places, face horrifying monsters, and fight fierce battles. They make both friends and enemies as their journey leads them into many dangers. But some of the worst dangers, Posy soon finds, lie deep within her own heart. 
Now Posy must find the courage and forgiveness needed to save the story and, most important, heal the heartache she knew in her own world. (from Goodreads)

Main Characters:
~ Posy
~ Prince Kyran

Review: This book is right up there with some of the top fantasy, and it's a must-read for anyone who has ever called himself a fan of Narnia. Posy hates her life, with her parents always bickering, always fighting. One night when her own temper gets the better of her, she flees to a nearby library, intending to get lost in a book to hide from her problems for a while. And boy, does she get lost IN a book.

When she wakes up, she's surrounded by a whole bunch of people she doesn't know -- people who tell her that she is the Princess Evanthe. Even the owl in the corner treats her like the princess. Yet, she knows, just as they know, that she is not Evanthe. No, she is only Evanthe's replacement -- a girl called into a story so that the Plot would not be messed up. And what happened to Evanthe? Why, she ran away! It's going to take Posy's teaming up with the young Prince Kyran (a boy with whom she did not have a satisfactory first meeting) to go out beyond the Borders of the story to find the missing princess and bring her back.

Of course, that's just the beginning of the story. If I were to give you more, I'd be sunk in spoilers. Personally, I really enjoyed this book. I love the idea of characters being alive, doing things, living between the times readers pull their story off a shelf. Have you ever wondered why bits of a story seem different the second time you read a book? That's because the characters might not have acted it out exactly the same way as the first time you read it. And the whole theme of being word changers, someone who had the power to change the words within a story... from within the story. Amazing!

The characters themselves I found very unique for a fantasy. With these types of books, authors tend to stick cliche characters into their works, yet Ashlee Willis didn't. The prince was dashing, yet not perfect. The heroine struggled with emotions that linked her both to the story-world and her own. The owls were not typical of owls anywhere that I've read. Beginning the book, I got a deep sense of deja vu -- someone from our world called into a fantasy where they team up with an individual from that world to find missing royalty at the request of owls. "It's The Silver Chair all over again," I thought, but I was wrong. While this has elements that reminded me of Narnia, there's so much... more, for a lack of a better word. It was just a smashing read. And yes, I was glued to the pages and I finished it all in one day. 

Advisory: Just some of your usual fantasy violence. As certain characters let loose their evil intentions, others stray from the Plot, fights and battles ensue. Centaurs, ipotanes (centaurs with only two legs), mermaids, owls, and men fight and are killed/injured. Nothing is overly graphic, though, so I'd recommend this book for readers twelve and up. 

At one point, Posy looks into a mirror and notices her curves. While remaining clean, I found those paragraphs to be a bit awkward and would have preferred them left out. The author also later describes a mermaid -- again, clean, but just something to take note of.

Also, since it is a big part of the story, I need to mention it here: the romance angle. While I thought on the whole it was a sweet romance, I got a little annoyed with the physical aspect of it. The couple shared (if my count was correct) five kisses, and the description of his muscles or their holding hands (or other physical contact) I didn't like. 

Rating: 4 out of 5 stars

*Please note: I received a copy of this book from the author/publisher in exchange for my honest review.*

Click here to buy The Word Changers on Amazon!

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