Author: Alex Bell
Paperback: 320 pages
Publisher: Gollancz (June 18, 2009)
Rating: 4.25 out of 5
About the book:
One day, without warning, Jasmyn’s husband died of an aneurysm. Since then, everything has been different. Wrapped up in her grief, Jasmyn is trapped in a world without colour, without flavour – without Liam. But even through the haze of misery she begins to notice strange events. Even with Liam gone, things are not as they should be, and eventually Jasmyn begins to explore the mysteries that have sprung up after her husband’s death …and follow their trail back into the events of his life. But the mysteries are deeper than Jasmyn expects, and are leading her in unexpected directions – into fairytales filled with swans, castles and bones; into a tale of a murder committed by a lake and a vicious battle between brothers; into a story of a lost past, and a stolen love. She’s entering a magical story. Jasmyn’s story.
Jasmyn is a story built around a fairy tale that involves castles and swans and a certain secret something that makes the entire story revolve around itself. And that certain something is very unique and mystical.
The book jumps into action immediately, without wasting any time, at the end of the first chapter itself. At the end of Jasmyn’s husband’s funeral, 5 black swans fall from the sky. Everyone dismisses them as a consequence of some natural disaster or a disease (?, sorry don’t remember), but then things start to get more mysterious and confusing. Jasmyn comes to know things about her husbands past which she never knew existed. She goes on a journey with Bill, her husband’s brother, to find out the truth for herself.
Jasmyn is very different from the many fairy tale retellings I have read. But wait, Jasmyn is not a fairy tale retelling; it’s a story that revolves around a fairy tale, something so different and unique that I have to applaud the genius behind the story.
I really don’t want to give away much because I know that I enjoyed discovering a new secret, a new mystery after every few pages and I don’t want anyone else’s experience to lessen even by 1%. I thought there were a few loop holes in the story for almost 3/4 of the book, but trust me it all comes together in the end. And the end is as dramatic and grand as any action packed fantasy movie.
Read it if you enjoy fast paced mysteries and fairy tales. I’m not sure if I should tell which fairy tale it is for the fear of spoiling the book for you. Because as far as I know, it’s not a very well known one, it could be called more of a myth based around real places and people. But yes, this book will make you want to finish it in one sitting.