Ahoy there mateys!
an inheritance of ashes (Leah Bobet)
When I read the author’s first novel . . . it walked the plank. However, I liked enough of the underlying writing to be willing to give the author’s second novel a chance. I am glad I did. This young adult dystopian fantasy novel was very much worth reading. It was surprising, thoughtful, moving, and not at all what I was expecting. Though to be fair I didn’t know what to expect when I picked it up.
This novel is not your typical dystopian novel. It appears to be set in a world like ours that has been destroyed in some way. The society has rebuilt and is seemingly succeeding. However the book begins with the end of a war with a god where no one truly understands what has happened. But the war and its subsequent consequences are really the background for the “true” story of a girl named Hallie, her farm, and her relationships with her sister and the folks from surrounding farms. While the overall plot was engaging, it was watching Hallie’s choices and growth that made the book so special.
I actually thought all the characters in this book were interesting. I really liked Heron, Tyler, and Nat in particular. The small world of Hallie’s farm and the surrounding homesteads and town was detailed and rich in a clear, simple and lovely way. And the ending was truly satisfying. Glad I didn’t give up on this author. I will certainly read her next book.
The author’s website has this to say about the novel:
Six months ago, the men of the lakelands marched south to fight a dark god.
Weeks after the final battle was won, sixteen-year-old Hallie and her sister, Marthe, are still struggling to maintain their family farm—and waiting for Marthe’s missing husband to return. After a summer of bitter arguments, Hallie is determined to get Roadstead Farm through the winter—and keep what’s left of her family together despite an inheritance destined to drive them apart.
But when Hallie hires a wandering veteran in a bid to save the farm, every phantom the men marched south to fight arrives at her front gate. Spider-eyed birds circle the fields, ghostly messages write themselves on the riverbank, and soon Hallie finds herself keeping her new hired hand’s desperate secrets—and taking dangerous risks. But as she fights to keep both the farm and her new friend safe, ugly truths about her own family are emerging—truths that, amidst gods, monsters, and armies—might tear Roadstead Farm apart.
Leah Bobet’s stark, beautiful fantasy explores the aftermath of the battles we fight and the slow, careful ways love can mend broken hearts—and a broken world.
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