‘East’ se­quel a re­source­ful fan­tasy

The Columbus Dispatch - - Front Page - By Nancy Gil­son • Edith Pat­tou will give a pre­sen­ta­tion about “West” from 6 to 8 p.m. Thurs­day at Cover to Cover Book­store, 2116 Ar­ling­ton Ave. Call 614-263-1624 or visit cover­to­cov­er­chil­drens­books.com. negilson@gmail.com

It has taken 15 years, but cen­tral Ohio author Edith Pat­tou has pro­duced a se­quel to “East,” her 2003 young-adult fan­tasy and riff on the Nor­we­gian fairy tale “East of the Sun and West of the Moon.”

Her new novel — ti­tled “West,” of course — con­tin­ues the story of the re­source­ful Rose and her beloved Charles, who spent most of the first novel as the en­chanted White Bear. In “West,” Charles (a hu­man again) has be­come Rose’s hus­band and the fa­ther of their baby son, Winn. But trou­ble is afoot.

The Troll Queen, pre­sumed dead at the end of “East,” is very much alive and de­ter­mined to seek re­venge on Rose, who robbed her of her plan to marry Charles and rule the At a glance Troll king­dom with him and wreak havoc on the hu­mans, or “soft­skins.”

As “West” opens, Charles’ ship has been lost at sea and he is pre­sumed dead. Rose doesn’t be­lieve it and sets off to find the truth. As she trav­els east, north, south and west, her friends and fam­ily at home are suf­fer­ing a mys­te­ri­ous sweat­ing sick­ness (the plague) and other calami­ties wrought by the Troll Queen.

Rose finds Charles, but his mem­ory has been erased; he spends most of the novel • “West” (Houghton Mif­flin Har­court, 528 pages, $17.99) by Edith Pat­tou

as a rather in­ef­fec­tive side­kick to brave, ca­pa­ble Rose who ul­ti­mately must pro­tect not only her fam­ily but also the world from the Troll Queen’s malev­o­lence.

Pat­tou has fash­ioned a tale that’s part fan­tasy, part myth. Her in­vented world con­tains par­al­lels to the real me­dieval Earth, in­clud­ing ref­er­ences to places such as Fransk, Njord and Skot­t­land (France, Nor­way, Scot­land) and ac­tiv­i­ties such as echecs (chess). If the mean­ings aren’t clear, there’s a glos­sary at the end.

The story un­folds from a variety of per­spec­tives — those of Rose; Charles; Rose’s mother and brother; an or­phaned teenager be­friended by Rose and Charles; and the Troll Queen.

Pat­tou’s style is con­ver­sa­tional, her plot is brisk and her chap­ters are short, all of which give “West” page-turn­ing mo­men­tum.

The story of her em­pow­ered fe­male is filled with ac­tion and sur­prise. Its end­ing is de­ci­sive and yet there’s room for fu­ture ad­ven­tures if Pat­tou de­cides to sol­dier on some day to the “North” and “South.”

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from USA

© PressReader. All rights reserved.