Tuesday, August 12, 2014

The Real Boy by Anne Ursu - Review

The Real Boy by Anne Ursu



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On the island of Alethia there is a walled shining City surrounded by a forested Barrow where the ancient trees feeds the earth with magic.  One hundred years ago the City was saved by the magic of its wall from a devastating plague.  A boy named Oscar works as a hand for the most powerful magician in the Barrow, Caleb, where he spends most of his time keeping out of the way and grinding herbs and making tinctures to sell in Caleb's shop.  Oscar constantly dreams of the wizards who lived on the islands generations ago, wizards with such skill that make would make even Caleb look practically powerless in comparison.  Oscar's world is very small, but that is exactly how he likes it because the outside world is unpredictable, big, and strange.

It's been a very long time since anyone with the skill of a wizard has walked the world, and now the world is changing.  Perfect City children are getting mysteriously sick and some kind of monster is out in the woods.  Oscar has been perfectly happy to stay in his small basement room, content in the knowledge that the magic of the trees will protect them, but now not even that magic may enough to save the islanders.

I was elated to find an ARC of The Real Boy at my local Goodwill store and I eagerly shelled out four bits to get my hands on Anne Ursu's newest story.  Anne Ursu is successfully and refreshingly able turn fantasy and fairy tale genre conventions upside down.  She creates a fully realized world and relatable characters in Oscar and Callie.  We can watch the two grow and become quite a team over the course of events.  This beautifully written and twisty story is one to be read by all ages.

I could say a lot more about the sheer awesomeness of The Real Boy, but I don't want to be getting too far into spoiler territory.  Take my word for it: It's not to be missed even if fantasy, fairy tales, and/or middle grade books aren't usually your thing.

Verdict: I simply adored this story and I'll probably be recommending it to anyone and everyone.


This book was read from July 29 - August 5, 2014 and this review can also be found on Goodreads.

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