Falling Maple Leaves
Posted December 7th, 2012 by rebecca
A Book Review by Rebec
in Rivendell, the only place in Middle Earth that gets Wi-Fi
One reason for traditionalists to avoid this book is the teenage narration that can only be appreciated truly by teenagers or modernists. When the first person narrative cannot cover facts, we dance off into third person for a brief few minutes, before we great our beloved Maple Thistle once again.
It has been a long time since I began reading this book, and I do not care to read it again. What I remember about my first run through is that I expected great things. Lauren has already mastered the first person form of narration with Maasai, a book inspired by experiences in Kenya. The prologue. which has been written and rewritten again and again has been near perfect every time. Each time it has told about our protagonist's parents' murder, ordered by a harsh and probably psychopathic king Johannes. Not only do I love this name, I love every name, from Maple Thistle, to Helena. Possibly one thing I dislike is the last name Dream. It's cheesy. I mean, I'm not lactose intolerant or anything, but sometimes cheese is offputting.
So Maple has been raised by her aunt. Her bratty cousin Xenia also lives in the same house, but she's useless. Maple hunts for the family, but is dragged off, along with a local flower seller's daughter Marthe to serve the king, by his rather moronic warrior Hardrick. Well he isn't moronic at first, yet somehow he later makes idiocy into an art form. Nothing much happens at first. Maple hunts for the king, makes friends with Gaia a rebel seamstress, Fawx, an irritating woman and Xander, who christens her Empty after her initials. Brightorri, the location is of course full of delightful fictional animals that would make it a zoologist's heaven - I have been tempted many a time to ask permission to write a fanfiction based around these premises. Maple knows a lot about the native animals, having grown up in a forest for a start. She becomes best friends with a princess, a person she should hate, Luna, the eccentric one, and ends up taking her exploring in the woods. Luna is the first third person character to be written about. Later Hardrick joins the club as the new Schouvian warrior, Sol, arrives. Generally Hardrick moans about how good Sol is. Gaia encounters misfortune as her cause is discovered. Hardrick completely fails here, not to mention when Princess Leven is killed and Sol turns out to be someone extremely odd indeed. Maple is accused of this murder and has to flee to Profelmous cave. Meanwhile we learn of Sol's search for rebels and Hardrick's lessons with Helena, teaching her combat, via third person. We have currently left off after Hardrick has been run over by a robot thing - the rebels made a lot of things like this using alchemy to plan a rebellion - Sol is on completely the wrong tracks for Maple and Maple is still in hiding.
What could have been a cliched fantasy rebellion story is now almost original fiction. The premise of an evil king will always be overused, but this fresh twist could possibly reinvent the idea for teenage readers.
For the author:
Change the Dream family's last name, in fact, I recommend changing Hardrick's name slightly - typing errors could be dangerous - and make sure Maple's narration only uses Maple's words, words Maple would know. Don't make any silly mistakes involving technology or analogies that are impossible in the world of Brightorri.
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