This book was beautifully written, after reading a few of the other reviews and comments on Goodreads I know that some complained about the style of writing and all I have to say about it is that I found it wonderfully different, some complained of clichés, but there were few and far between in this book; it is most stunningly original.
I think that the problem was the age level at which you read the book at. I child would be captivated by the adventure, an experienced reader like myself who is also young would be able to discern the richly complex story telling and themes prominent through out the novel, but I think to a grown person the fairy tales would seem almost childish and wouldn’t be able to relate to the struggles that our twelve year old protagonist goes through, and would probably think the plot to self-indulged.
The truth that I found to the story is that it’s a different type of coming to age tale that’s full of monsters and sad people. I gave my deepest sympathies for David when he lost his mother, just a few pages in and I was already about to shed a few tears, and all the problems he has to face, mainly his own fears.
The Crooked Man was described as a dreadful being capable of terrible things, which you don’t really understand until Connolly gives you a tour of his tunnels and describes all of the horrific things down there.
I felt bad for Roland the most and was kind of upset when he didn’t join the Woodsmen with David and his deceased family at the end of the story. All that’s left of him was Scylla which could properly be stated as David’s horse now, so he was truly left out and didn’t really get the happy ending with Raphael that he deserved.
I feel like Jonathan Tulvey should have been given some form of redemption by Connolly, but instead he was portrayed as a selfish old man full of regrets and had probably died without knowing that Anna still loved him and had forgiven him for his atrocities against her.
Instead of focusing so greatly on his theme of Mortality I wished Connolly had taken a second (or a few pages) to give the other fairytale creatures a happy ending like the dwarves and snow white, the villagers, the harpies and trolls(not really a happy ending for them, but an idea of what had happened to them), the animal-people that the huntress created, but instead he only gave the lost children that became flowers a sort of happy ending.
But anyway, I found the story beautifully told and would definitely recommend it to anyone as a good read.