Review & Ramblings: The Night Country by Melissa Albert.

Published January 7th 2020

This book takes off right where The Hazel Wood ends. From the first page, it is intense, complex and deeply wound into the folklore and tales of The Hinterland characters. As always, Albert’s writing is lyrical and has a magical feel to it, as she weaves fairy tales into the real world.

The Night Country, reads quickly, but if you read it at the pace it is asking for, you miss so many things, change of phrase that alters the entire context of a scene, a change in eye colour which means so much for Alice, or the subtle sign of a person from The Hinterland. It is written so well, that it feels like you are investigating as well as reading about Alice. It feels more than just a book.

I was worried that this book wouldn’t have the magic and folklore feel that the first book had. And to a degree I was right. There is no magical forest settings or familial mysteries or houses to explore. This tale feels different, with the same magic systems binding it with the first.

I really enjoyed how, in this book, we are seeing how the magic of the stories, actually works. How they began to destruct and were able to escape The Hinterland. How a blight took hold once a story went off track, how it all started and who it started with.

It is beginning to make more sense now, the second point of view has been revealed. And what that second point of view is searching for. It sounds like such a terrible but wonderful place.

The creation of a magical world is amazing, but woah, are the steps to its creation horrific. The ceremony is the creepiest thing I have read in a long, long time. Singing tongues, blood rites and ancient magic. Sends a shiver down my spine. This is the level of creepiness I was waiting to continue on from The Hazel Wood. It is a shame it came so late in the book.

As much as I enjoyed The Night Country, I do feel like a lot of it was just story spinning, as though nothing was truly happening, that the plot spanned out ovet years rather than weeks. The pacing seems to have slowed quite a bit towards the middle, so perhaps that had an effect on the overall sense of time.

The ending was perfect. Altbough I still am not quite sure of how or what the total impact of destroying a world had on the city, I found that part wasn’t explained all that well. But the ending itself was gentle in a world of death and hardship, it was filled with hope and a genuine want for a future.

The Night Country, was a great follow up novel to The Hazel Wood, but it wasn’t as dreamy, as creepy, as intense. It felt like something else, with the same characters trying to make sense of a world that they don’t belong in.
It is well written, it flows with ease, as most fairy tales do. The character’s are diverse, they are flawed, they aren’t real. But the way Albert writes, makes their stories and their lives feel like they have taken hold.

I am so greatful to Penguin Teen Australia, for sending me out a copy of this book to review. I have enjoyed the ride it has taken me on.

2 thoughts on “Review & Ramblings: The Night Country by Melissa Albert.”

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