Eyes Like Leaves started out well, but the book bogged down for me by the end. It didn’t have the rich characters I expect from Charles de Lint, but it did have his usual beautiful writing.
Summary via Goodreads:
Summer magic is waning in the Green Isles, and the evil Icelord is encasing the lands in a permanent frost while coastal towns are pillaged by snake ships. Mounting one last defense against the onslaught, a mysterious old wizard instructs his inexperienced apprentice in the art of shape-changing. Mercilessly pursued by the Icelord’s army, this newfound mage gathers allies—a seemingly ordinary young woman and her protective adoptive family—and they flee north in a desperate race to awaken the Summerlord.
Time is running short for the Summerborn, especially when a treacherous family betrayal is discovered.
For the first half of the book, I was delighting in being in a genre that I used to love, but have visited very infrequently in the last twenty or so years. Wizards, living in a world that once was full of magic, but now is almost bare of it. Good fighting off evil for the sake of the world as a whole. Young people coming into their power. Very old people passing on the lessons they have learned.
Unfortunately, after I reached the halfway point, my joy in this beautifully written, new to me yet familiar world started to fade, and I began to realize I wanted more from my characters.
Certainly, there were the seeds of interesting characters. They had intriguing roles to play, hints of back stories with details to come… but I didn’t feel like I made the connections for these to be delivered.
As the story continued in interesting directions, I was less and less connected with the people that were being swept along.
The book was an epic tale of good and evil, with elements of the story and the setting that were familiar yet unique in how they were used. It was a world that used to be ours, with more magic than we ever knew.
It’s a great story, beautifully told. I’m just greedy, wanting even more than that.
I received this book for review from Tachyon Publications. Thank you!