Thursday, August 03, 2006

The Tourmaline by Paul Park

The Tourmaline is the continuation of the story that began with Paul Park's A Princess Of Roumania. In this novel, several characters from our world have been transported to an alternate world. It turns out that Miranda is really not from the familiar world that Peter, who is the first character we meet in this book, was born in. Miranda was, in fact, only sent for her own protection as a baby. Now she's back in this magical world, to save Roumania (or Romania) which is, in this reality, a world power. She has some help, including Peter, who is turning into the Chevalier de Graz, Andromeda, who is currently in the shape of a dog, and several others. Can they do it?

The Tourmaline is a beautifully written book. It has great characters, real enough so that the reader feels real emotion (like or dislike, or stronger) for them, which is a great accomplishment for a writer. The plot is fairly original, too, which is becoming more and more difficult as the number of books written increases, and more and more people struggle to come up with ideas no one else has already written down. This alternate world, wonderfully described, is especially interesting because it is obviously very different from the world we know, but is also similar. This fantasy novel is one that is worth reading, when it seems sometimes that there are too many similar fantasy books around, as it is a popular genre.

Rating (0 - 10 scale): 8
Reviewer Age: 15
Reviewer City, State and Country: Asheville, NC USA