**Thank you to Tor for sending me a copy of this book for review**
When I first heard this book was inspired by Brian Froud's paintings and drawings, I was immediately drawn in. I'd first come to know Froud when he worked with Jim Henson, and my love of him grew from there. Now, I am not a big art person, but when it comes to the weird and the mystical, I'm your girl. That's why I jumped at the chance to read this book.
Also, I adore magical realism.
Maggie Black inherits the estate of the deceased poet, Davis Cooper, and moves from the west coast to Arizona where she plans to uncover what really happened to her friend. Upon arriving in the southwest, she quickly finds herself in awe of its beauty and wonder. The house is full of magical paintings, poems, and hints to what happened to Davis. Taking these clues, Maggie navigates the desert, its inhabitants, and her own past as she grows into the person she has always meant to become.
To me, this book made me feel like I was in Arizona. I've only been there once, and it made an impression on me. Reading this felt like visiting again. This book is a love letter to the southwest and everything it embodies. We're grounded in reality, but find ourselves slipping into a fantasy world beyond our own. But we only get glimpses. this is not a walking-through-a-wardrobe- book. I've never walked the desert and climbed its mountains, but by reading this book I feel like I already have.
The aspects of the folklore and mystery kept me engaged. The writing was beautiful; it is pure poetry. This is a perfect novel that will stick with me for a long time.
Recommend for people who want something magical set in a desert and helmed by a strong woman.
Terri Windling is a writer, artist, and book editor interested in myth, folklore, fairy tales, and the ways they are used in contemporary arts. She has published over 40 books (novels, children's books, and anthologies), winning nine World Fantasy Awards, the Bram Stoker Award, and the SFWA Solstice Award for "outstanding contributions to the speculative fiction field as writer, editor, artist, educator, and mentor." Her adult novel "The Wood Wife" won the Mythopoeic Award for Novel of the Year, and her collection "The Armless Maiden" was shortlisted for the James Tiptree Jr. Award. She has also published numerous essays on myth, fairy tales, mythic arts, and fantasy literature.
Find all of her books here