Thursday, 2 June 2016

The Brontë's worlds were MORE than fictional | Worlds of Ink and Shadow

Worlds of Ink and Shadow by Lena Coakley

Published: January 5th 2016 by Amulet Books
Genre: young adult, fantasy, historical

Goodreads summary: Charlotte, Branwell, Emily, and Anne. The Brontë siblings find escape from their constrained lives via their rich imaginations. The glittering world of Verdopolis and the romantic and melancholy world of Gondal literallycome to life under their pens, offering the sort of romance and intrigue missing from their isolated parsonage home. But at what price? As Branwell begins to slip into madness and the sisters feel their real lives slipping away, they must weigh the cost of their powerful imaginations, even as the characters they have created—the brooding Rogue and dashing Duke of Zamorna—refuse to let them go.

Gorgeously written and based on the Brontës’ juvenilia, Worlds of Ink and Shadow brings to life one of history’s most celebrated literary families in a thrilling, suspenseful fantasy.


If you didn't know, I'm a huge fan of the Brontë sisters, even though I haven't read that much by them. Nevertheless, I've always been compelled to learn about them and when I heard about this book, I knew I had to read it. This book made me want to read all of their works even more than before, so it totally worked in that sense. I'm left craving for more of their writing and I'll do something about it soon.

I felt like this book was quite unique, with its imaginary worlds created by writing about them, it was quite interesting. This concept of traveling to them was based off a folktale, which I could totally picture in the 19th century moor. It was so mysterious the whole time and I loved the explanation. The fact that it was about these imaginary worlds the characters could access reminded me of the Gemma Doyle trilogy by Libba Bray, in a way, because it was as eerie and a little scary. But I didn't read this book at night so this effect was a little lost on me.

However, while I was interested by this concept, I was totally underwhelmed during the whole book. I kept reading, but I never got the spark that pushed me to read until I was done. For me, it was quite a slow book, but it wasn't necessarily a bad thing, because it got along with the atmosphere of this book, it's just that I was never hooked (which is a little sad). Moreover, I would have liked to see more of the madness mentioned in the synopsis. Yes, they were seeing things but it lasted for a couple of chapters and it didn't actually feel like madness.

My motivation to keep going lied in the Brontë siblings, because I love them so much and it felt close to their actual stories. Indeed, the author said she had based her novel upon their work, even though she had taken some liberties. I loved that it truly showed the power of words, but also how sometimes, the characters do whatever they want, even if you are the writer. However, I would have liked to know more about Anne. I know that she's the youngest of the four, but I couldn't quite picture her motivations, when I understood Branwell, Emily and Charlotte completely. Moreover, what happened in those fictional worlds felt like the beginning of something bigger, namely the novels of the Brontë sisters and I could see Heathcliff in Rogue or Mr. Dorchester in Zamora.

However, while I liked reading about the Brontë siblings, I think that they were unmemorable characters and that I will only remember them because they existed in real life. While the book was unique, I never felt like the characters truly shone and it was just the same for the fictional characters, that they had created to be huge clichés. I didn't came to care for any of them. For the romance, it felt just the same, I had definitely seen it coming and it was just okay for me.

Overall, this one had potential and I don't regret reading it, because I learnt a lot about the Brontë siblings, whom are my little babies. The concept was definitely interesting and the author did her research, but because I didn't actually love the characters and I wanted a more fast-paced plot, it didn't do it entirely for me. But now I want to read all the books by the sisters.

Have you read this book yet? Do you love the Brontë's sisters? Have you read any of their books?

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