Review of 'Wind Follower' by Carole McDonnell

Wind FollowerWind Follower by Carole McDonnell

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

I enjoyed this book so much. The writing is outstanding. It pulls you through the narrative, but is never tired or derivative. I very much liked the main characters, particularly Satha, the heroine. The story does not pull its punches, and there were points when I found the narrative too painful to read and put it aside. This is a tribute to its power; I became fond of the central characters, Loic and Satha, who face some harsh tests in their quest.
The imaginary world, with its four tribes and languages, is imagined in vivid detail. I was apprehensive about the strong Christian theme that animates the book, but for me it formed an organic part of the narrative. Though there were occasions when I was not always in agreement with the book's themes, they never detracted from my enjoyment.The characters, heroes and villains, were complex and believable. The trickiest part for me was the paradox that the Angleni, the colonial invaders, were the ones who brought the truth with them. But the book does not shy away from the paradox; the Angleni themselves are not a good thing.
But the story never becomes a simplistic allegory. The African world of the fantasy is striking and original and avoids the over-used tropes of some traditional fantasy. I rather wish it had gone on longer. I would have liked to read more! I would recommend this book to any fans of fantasy, but also to those who would hesitate to read books bearing the fantasy label. The strength of the prose and the characterisation alone should make it more widely read. Hoping to read the author's next book, 'The Constant Tower'.
(I wish I could give it 4.5 stars!)(review also posted on Amazon).

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