Opening: "Lugh got born first. On Midwinter Day when the sun hangs low in the sky.
Then me. Two hours later.
That pretty much says it all.
Lugh goes first, always first, an I follow on behind.
That's how it's meant to be."
I quoted the whole opening page because I think it's important on several levels. It establishes Saba's relationship with Lugh, and it gives a taste of her voice.
I put this book on my TBR list after Leila's recommendation
and then I saw it when I was at the library and thought, "Why not?"
It's a relatively fast read, despite the physical size of the book. Saba is terse. I always got the feeling that she was reserving something--not keeping secrets exactly, but not saying everything either.
She is cranky and opinionated and blind and she makes me want to shake her. She's also fiercely loyal and fiercely loving (once she's decided how she feels about you). I loved her and her voice and her journey. This says book 1 and I'm hoping that we get more from her.
Leila gave a good list of comparisons in her review, but I wanted to add another one--Goewin from Elizabeth Wein's The Winter Prince
. Twin? Check. Adores her twin brother? Check. Who is named Lugh/Lleu? CHECK. Frequently cranky, and also willing to use younger relatives? Check. Falls surprisingly hard in love? Check.
I found the structure of the novel, in sections divided by setting, interesting, partly because it helped me track their movements. The world of Blood Red Road
is post-apocalyptic, which is hinted at early in the novel and pretty much confirmed later. I would love to know more about its history.
Because Lugh disappears so early in the novel, it was hard for me to care about him as himself. I was concerned for him, but it was more on Saba's behalf than anything else. This isn't a fault, exactly, but it does change the focus of the story.
In short, this is a great book. Read it.
Book source: public library
Book information: Margaret K. McElderry Books, 2011; YAAn interview with Moira YoungAn interesting review at Coffee and Cliffhangers