For starters, here’s my immediate reaction as written down on Goodreads as I marked the book as finished.
Kristen’s Read-Along starts officially on Friday, and I’m really hoping to have a really good discussion there and maybe more to add here (or at least some links). I took lots of notes as I went and I may even add those here (probably password protected) as there’s some really good stuff in the book.
My rating: 5 of 5 stars
I loved rereading this. It was nice to read it on Kindle and be able to mark passages as I go (that helps me absorb a text I find) and loved the Garth Nix intro and especially the transcript of a DWJ speech about heroic journeys and writing F&H.
I remember this as being the catalyst that set me off to find out more about Thomas the Rhymer and Tam Lin, so it was very interesting to read it nearly 20 years later and from the other side, with the ballads well established in my head. It let me pick out meaning that I had missed before and made the read more enjoyable – but I still missed pretty much all the things DWJ mentioned in the speech at the end, so I guess there’s a lot more for me to unpick in future reads.
It remains a great story as well as a brilliant interweaving of myth into a modern story.
I also found it had dated less than the earlier books. It still had horrible parents, but at least nobody got hit around this time.
The only thing that caught me out was when Polly was at the practice with the quartet, and they needed to find out when her next train home would be. Everyone looked at Ann, who leaned down to look in her bag. For a moment, I really thought she was going to pull out a smart phone and look it up that way. Of course, what she did pull out was a paper timetable.
A huge thumbs up. You have to pay attention as you read, but boy is it worth it.