Thursday, August 6, 2015

BRT: The Sky-Child and Other Stories by Danielle E. Shipley

Title: The Sky-Child and Other Stories
Author: Danielle E. Shipley
Number of Pages: e-book
Rating: 5/5
Released: July 7, 2015

Born into a world his heart knows as beneath him, an extraordinary boy becomes a man of music, hopeful that someday he’ll find a way higher.

As the first day dawns, a world comes awake, order and disorder striking a dangerous balance.

Under the stars, a princess and tailor trade age-old lore, little dreaming of the future that could trap them in the past.

All of it in, around, and far above the timeless trees of Wilderhark, the forest whose secrets reveal themselves slowly, if ever at all.

Tales of beginnings. Tales of quests for belonging. Most of all, tales of true love.

Once upon a time, you knew something of Wilderhark’s tales. Now for the stories that fall in between.

W O R L D    B U I L D I N G.

I'm one of those people who has trouble with creating lore in a fantasy/futuristic world. So, whenever I see a world that's very much had its homework done, I take heed. The moment I knew this work's title, the world building is what I was anticipating and very much looking forward to.

Gant-o-the-Lute's background is much more heavily explored in this addition to the Wilderhark Tales. For any who might have been confused about him or wondered about his past, or just want more content with him, this is your read! As far as origin stories go, Lute's is fantastic. It explains how he came to be minstrel, his gifts from the beginning, his parents, and how he came to meet Viralei. On an off note, I thought I noticed a lack of continuity regarding that, but I'm sure it's how long it's been since I read The Seventh Spell because I know Danielle wouldn't have missed something like that.

(That should tell you something about the faith you can put in this author.)

After The Sky-Child's conclusion, the Other Stories that take place regard different characters. We see some flash fiction between Sula and Villem (Fluff! <3) and a piece with Sigmund, delving more into the characters than the world around them. But then - then comes the story of the Sun and Moon.

As far as creation tales go for a fictional world, this instantly ranks one of my top favorites. I had to read this story twice just to absorb and enjoy it all properly. Another story somewhat branches off of this later into the installment as well, regarding some of the rougher times the world has gone through due to troublesome winds and a difficult Sun (and son). 

After that, the installment Starheart includes some more world-building and fluff regarding Edgwyn and Rosalba. (For anyone who doesn't know what fluff is - I just refer to it as a rather cute scene between two characters being romantic). The differentiation between what the world thinks of the Stone Kingdom legend versus the reality of it is explored here. 

Two more stories fill the pages - Affected and A Gallivanting Soul. The former takes place during The Seventh Spell and the latter finishes Gant-o'-the-Lute's backstory.

You will cry. If you don't cry, you will at least tear up.

As usual, the writing and pacing are flawless. You never get bored reading this book and there's always more to learn about the world of the Wilderhark Tales. Danielle Shipley will always give you just enough to satisfy you, but the moment you know there's going to be more - well, you're probably pre-ordering it, or waiting to have that option. 

The characters remain as investing and lively as always, leaping out of the pages and into the reader's soul. Not many writers have the ability to connect to their characters and let their characters connect to readers the way this writer does. We may cringe at some of the attitudes the characters have or ponder on why some characters act the way they do, but in the end, we relate, and we understand.

The Sky-Child and Other Stories has, once again, proven itself a worthy successor to the series, even as an in-between book. It does read a bit like a stand-alone, not too heavily requiring the knowledge of prior books to understand it, but for the full enjoyment I would highly recommend you read the others. You never know, though. Maybe this will be the book that captures you for this series!

{This review is quite late! I unfortunately had to open at work today and then attend a Tae Kwon Do meeting this evening, so I had been stretched on time. I hadn't had time to write it last night. Either way, it's still Thursday, and the review is still true. Enjoy your night and your upcoming Friday!)

1 comment:

  1. My heart. It soars. Thank you so much for the review, Kendra. It is the sunshine of my day. :)
    ~ Danielle