West – Edith Pattou – East #2 – HMH Books – 23 October 2018
When Rose first met Charles, he was trapped in the form of a white bear. To rescue him, Rose traveled to the land that lay east of the sun and west of the moon to defeat the evil Troll Queen. Now Rose has found her happily-ever-after with Charles—until a sudden storm destroys his ship and he is presumed dead. But Rose doesn’t believe the shipwreck was an act of nature, nor does she believe Charles is truly dead. Something much more sinister is at work. With mysterious and unstoppable forces threatening the lives of the people she loves, Rose must once again set off on a perilous journey. And this time, the fate of the entire world is at stake.
West is a delightful fantasy novel, gorgeously pieced together with adventure and folklore it is sure to please fans of East and new readers alike.
East (though it will always be North Child to me) is one of my most favourite books. I love its beautiful writing, elegant and so very imaginative in its simplicity. I love the fairytale remix. I love the strength of Rose, her curiosity, wandering spirit and determination. I love the short chapters written from the perspectives of multiple characters which detail the story. I love the White Bear and I love Rose’s love for him. And so, when a sequel was announced, some 15 years after the publication of East, to say I was excited might have been a huge understatement. And yet, sometimes a new title after so many years, an extra part of a story which you thought completed, can sometimes be a disappointment. Fear not, because West is every bit as beautiful, magnificent and wondrous as East. It continues Rose and the White Bear’s story as if the ink on the pages of East had only freshly dried. It carries the same heart, the same creative storytelling in its unique and simple way. It doesn’t undo any of the happy ending of the first book, but simply continues the story. And it has made this reader very, very happy.
I am so glad that West gives me the opportunity to share afresh my love for East and Edit Pattou’s writing, to share with a new generation of young (and young-at-heart) readers Rose’s stunning story of adventure, determination and love. The release of West is the perfect time to read or reread East.
In East, Rose had to travel east of the sun and west of the moon to rescue her White Bear. Now she and Charles have started a family. By when a sudden storm destroys the ship Charles is sailing on and he is reported dead in mysterious circumstances Rose sets out once again to rescue him.
West is a combination of everything I love in a beautiful fantasy novel. It combines legends and fairytales and weaves them through Rose’s story. It is both adventurous and full of surprise twists. I honestly felt a little sorry for Rose for the constant stream of challenges thrown her way and yet she never, ever gives up. She is the epitome of a strong and determined character and joining her on her journey and quest is a delight. West also features the importance of family. Neddy once again shares his perspective in short chapters throughout the book, as does Rose’s mother and Rose’s adopted young charge. And of course, no fairytale retelling would be compete without romance. The strong connection between Rose and Charles is challenged, but their determination and devotion to one another is clear. We readers also also treated to a second love story – that of Rose’s brother Neddy.
Magic, quests, challenges and games, ancient folklore and legends, the gorgeous and historic scenery of the northern Scandinavia, the wonderfully detailed characters and Edith Pattou’s unique and beautiful writing style, all work together to make West a pleasure to read.
The publishers provided an advanced readers copy of this book for reviewing purposes. All opinions are my own.
Category: Young adult fiction.
Themes: Magic, fairytale retellings, animals, legends, romance, family.
Reading age guide: Ages 10-12 and up.
Advisory: References to injury, illness, death and blood.
Published: 23 October 2018 by HMH Books for Young Readers.
Format: Hardcover, ebook, audiobook. 528 pages.