A fierce, mythopoeic tale of loss and redemption.”
Rosamund Hodge, NYT Bestselling author of Cruel Beauty
"A wondrous fantasy of sweeping proportions."
Anna Bright, author of The Beholder
"[A] solid and enjoyable book."
“A recommended purchase for libraries in need of character-driven fantasy with a morally gray cast and divine interference, in the vein of Megan Whalen Turner’s The Queen’s Thief.”
School Library Journal
Praise for ECHO NORTH:
* “Magic pulsates through every page... A lush, captivating new twist on beloved fairy tales.”
Kirkus Reviews, starred review
* “A compelling, satisfying romantic adventure with metafictional undertones.”
Publishers Weekly, starred review
“A leisurely, luxurious read, suited to lovers of folklore and long winter nights."
"Fresh and original...this lyrical and romantic fantasy offers plenty for both YA lovers and fairy-tale connoisseurs to appreciate."
"A beautifully written tale of the power of love – and the power of stories."
Gr 8 Up—A companion to Meyer's debut novel, Beneath the Haunting Sea, this stand-alone adventure fantasy is perfect for fans of Megan Whalen Turner's Queen of Attolia and ambitious female protagonists. Nine years ago, Eda made a deal with the god Tuer to be Empress of half the world and usurped the heroine of Beneath. Now, Eda's power is slipping through her fingers. Between conniving barons and her own tyrannical sensibilities, Eda is trapped in a political quagmire that keeps her from holding up her end of the god's bargain—and may cost her Niren, her best friend, whose soul she put up as collateral for her crown. While her violent internal monologue initially sets up Eda as the villain of this story, her character quickly develops to be more than her ambitions as she interacts with a large cast of characters. The world-building is intricately woven into the political machinations of Eda's empire, with the nuances of the world's polytheistic religion raising the stakes of the story. Meyer's deft descriptions give the novel a fairy-tale quality, as Eda must fight her way through the labyrinthine Circles of the Living, the Dead, Time, and Sorrow to save Niren—and herself. After all, she never bargained on how long she would get to be Empress. VERDICT A recommended purchase for libraries in need of character-driven fantasy with a morally gray cast and divine interference, in the vein of Megan Whalen Turner's The Queen's Thief.—Emmy Neal, Lake Forest Library, IL
Eda has given up everything to become empress, but making a deal with a god is dangerous, especially one as clever as Tuer.
After the death of the emperor, Eda was made empress of Enduena, much to the chagrin of her (much older) advisers, who continually attempt to undermine her authority. Her first order of business was to bring back religious practices that the previous emperor abolished and reconstruct a temple in Tuer's name: She made a promise to him that if she failed to do so, she would forfeit the life of her best friend, Niren. Wracked with guilt over gambling with Niren's life, Eda is hit with another surprise when a new suitor arrives for her, Prince Ileem of Denlahn, her country's greatest enemy. Could a marriage alliance save her people from all-out war with the Denlahns and give her the support she needs to finish her temple and save Niren? This ambitious book attempts to cover a lot of ground but struggles with pacing and character development. While the world is well built, with clear rituals, rules, and beliefs, the first part drags, readers will likely anticipate the ending, and characters' behavior at times feels inconsistent. However, the second half of the book sees Eda's growth, more action, and some exciting magic. Whiteness is situated as the norm; the Denlahns are brown-skinned, and Niren has bronze skin.
Overall, a solid and enjoyable book. (Fantasy. 13-18)