Both narratives, in part, involve the observation of two men, Franklin and Somiss. The girl observes the men learning magic, trying to regain information of the old songs and spells. the boy observes the men teaching magic and techniques on how to utilize it.
One of the driving points of interest for me was the uncertainty of the two time periods. I desperately wanted them to converge and connect and sometimes in moments, I thought they did, and I pushed through the story even more.
Each time period provides little morsels of information that form the story only at the point where they join together in your mind. My mind became consumed with understanding each of these two men from every angle.
Kathleen Duey's storytelling in the novel is nothing short of masterful. Without her storytelling this book would have not help my interest. The topic and darkness of this book is beyond my normal interests. But the book is really rooted in the gritty reality of life. There is something to be said about a work that looks unabashedly in the face of tragedy and just states it, without guilt or pity. This is the sorrow of life, look at it.
In an interview with the National Book Foundation Kathleen states:
The book reflects reality, I think. I intend it that way. History is a
braid of individual lives, all shaped by decisions, uncertainties, ideals,
ambitions, reasons, insanities, loves, hatreds, and all the rest. But a few
people in every era, often unwilling and unprepared, serve as catalysts. The
book follows two people in each of the storylines who are shoved into their
fates, and have to find ways to live, and to live with themselves--as we all do,