The Scroll of Years by Chris Willrich is a breath of fresh air in the fantasy genre with poetic writing and a beautifully unique world (with cool dragons!). The characters Gaunt and Bone are well named to convey just how odd of a couple they are, but it is refreshing to see a committed couple starring as the main characters. Another unique twist in The Scroll Years is that Gaunt is actually pregnant for most of the story and yet still very kick-ass ;-). I honestly think a pregnant main character in a fantasy is a first for me!
Note: I received The Scroll of Years from the publisher in exchange for an honest review.
The Scroll of Years by Chris Willrich (Gaunt and Bone #1)
Published by Pyr on Sept. 24th, 2013
Genres: Adult, Fantasy
Page Length: 270 pages
How I got my copy: Publisher
IndieBound - Book Depository - Goodreads
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Persimmon Gaunt and Imago Bone are a romantic couple and partners in crime. Persimmon is a poet from a well-to-do family, who found herself looking for adventure, while Imago is a thief in his ninth decade who is double-cursed, and his body has not aged in nearly seventy years. Together, their services and wanderlust have taken them into places better left unseen, and against odds best not spoken about. Now, they find themselves looking to get away, to the edge of the world, with Persimmon pregnant with their child, and the most feared duo of assassins hot on their trail. However, all is never what it seems, and a sordid adventure-complete with magic scrolls, gangs of thieves, and dragons both eastern and western-is at hand.
- The writing of The Scroll of Years is of course ridiculously difficult to explain because it has such a poetic and beautiful tone to it. Gaunt is a poet, so whenever she or Bone (who she has trained to describe scouting results poetically) is speaking, the dialogue is just lovely. However, the whole book is written in a very classic bardic tone. Gah, it’s just really pretty okay?!
- The Scroll of Years introduces TWO very cool fantasy worlds >.>. Two you ask? Well you’ll just have to see, but it is awesome.
- Besides the fun of Gaunt and Bone, there are many secondary characters in The Scroll of Years that add comic relief, their own personal plot lines, and a broader view of the world. I enjoyed the focus shifting between many of these characters since it really conveys just how epic this series is going to be. Big things are brewing!
- The plot of The Scroll of Years is of course delightfully complicated, with quite a few different groups with complicated motives. I enjoyed the greyness that is introduced because of these vying goals, where I as the reader couldn’t actually decide which group was “good/correct” and which was “bad/wrong” in their desired outcomes. I look forward to finding out more about each of the factions introduced!
- So there is a short story at the end of the edition of The Scroll of Years that I read which is actually a prequel short story. I really really would have preferred it be before the main text since it puts a lot of background into context. I honestly felt like I was missing something during part of The Scroll of Years and it was explained in the short story. Do yourself a favor and flip to the back to read that first!
- The Scroll of Years has lovely writing, but that ended up making some sentences rather awkward to the point that I was pretty sure there was a typo or two because I just couldn’t sort out what the sentence was supposed to say.
- Also due to the poetic writing tone of The Scroll of Years, I felt strangely removed from the characters and their plights at times. Instead of feeling like Gaunt is the big sister I never realized I was missing (how I feel about most adult female characters >.>), she’s still just a character in a book to me. It’s a bit difficult for me to sort out why this is exactly, but I think it has to do with the particular tone of the writing. I’m really curious as to whether any of you who have read the Scroll of Years got a similar feeling!
The Scroll of Years is an excellently fresh fantasy that dives into a new world with charming characters and beautiful writing. I can tell this series is going to be a fan favorite (it kind of already is, I’m so behind, haha), and I’m excited to see where it goes. I do definitely recommend reading the prequel short story first so that you can better understand references, but I still really enjoyed The Scroll of Years!
Have you read this one? What did you think? Are you excited for it if you haven’t gotten to it yet?
The Scroll of Years by Chris Willrich
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