Started: March 24, 2016
Finished: March 28, 2016
Rating: 5/5 stars
People who read my review of Fangirl know that I wasn’t too much of a fan of that book and that the only thing that I actually really liked were the fanfic snippets – i.e the Simon Snow stuff. Needless to say I was therefore very, very happy when Rainbow Rowell announced this book.
I didn’t go out and buy it right when it was published, though, because 1) everywhere I looked the prices for this were sky high and 2) I was scared that Rowell wouldn’t be able to write a more fantasy-ish book well. So I waited until I’d seen some reviews pop up and until I could find a copy with a more reasonable price – and I can honestly say that this book did not disappoint!
Yes, this is a retelling of Harry Potter; you have the Chosen One and a magic school in Britain and all sorts of other things that just scream HP-retelling, but it’s also very different. You don’t really get to see as much of the magic in this book – which might very well be due to that Rainbow Rowell is first and foremost a contemporary YA-romance writer. So there’s a lot more focus on the relationships and those sort of things, with the inclusion of a few spells and monsters. But it works really, really well! I cared so much more about these characters and their personal problems than I did Cath and the writing style reminded me a lot of Septimus Heap by Angie Sage.
SPOILER SPOILER SPOILER SPOILER SPOILER
Also, the fact that the Mage was the cause of all the bad stuff reminded me of a HP-fanfiction written by my friend around the time of the release of Order of the Phoenix (the book) where Voldemort was in fact manipulated by Dumbledore who was the ultimate villain in kind of the same way as the Mage, and since the Mage is basically Dumbledore I was so, so happy about this turn of events!
I can honestly say that I haven’t even put this book back in the shelf yet because I get the urge to re-read bits and pieces of it every now and then, because I cannot let go of this just yet. I need more of this! Thank god for fanfics!