The Tower at Stony Wood By Patricia McKillip
Audiobook version, narrated by Zack Villa
Finished on 1/8/2017
3.6 Knights in Shining Armor and 1.4 Selkies out of 5
Patricia McKillip is a master of the art of storytelling. If someone were to ever write up the Cliff’s Notes version of the story it would be horribly confusing because, like so much of McKillip’s work, the story can be a little convoluted and difficult to follow. However the author is able to turn purple prose into an asset instead of an enemy, spin a confusing plot into a stylistic narrative. If only we could all be so lucky.
This is the story of a woman trapped in a story. The question is which woman in which story? This book is a meta-analysis of saving the princess and the tower, by providing a situation in which a Knight must determine which out of several dozen towers and several women trapped in them is the correct one to save. This is also the story of a mother trying to reconnect with her daughters, reconnect with the woman she used to be. This is also the story of an island nation trying to reclaim its independence from the Kingdom which crushed them.
If I were to pin a flaw on this book it would not be the confusing plot, for think that is a feature instead of a bug. Instead I would say the characters seemed off to me, and the ending was just out of left field. For such a strong book in the first two thirds, the final third felt rushed. The climax is particularly unconventional, for the four major plot lines of the book coincided simultaneously in a single scene. It was just… Weird.
A lovely story. Give it a whirl if you’re interested.