Publishing Date: January 5, 2016
Pages: 352 pages
Young Adult Historical Fiction
The Premise (From the Publisher): "Charlotte, Branwell, Emily, and Anne. The Brontë siblings have always been inseparable. After all, nothing can bond four siblings quite like life in an isolated parsonage out on the moors. Their vivid imaginations lend them escape from their strict upbringing, actually transporting them into their created worlds: the glittering Verdopolis and the romantic and melancholy Gondal. But at what price? As Branwell begins to descend into madness and the sisters feel their real lives slipping away, they must weigh the cost of their powerful imaginations, even as their characters-the brooding Rogue and dashing Duke of Zamorna-refuse to let them go. Gorgeously written and based on the Brontës’ own juvenilia, Worlds of Ink & Shadow brings to life one of history’s most celebrated literary families in a thrilling, suspenseful fantasy" (HCC).
My overall thoughts and review: I first heard about this book at a preview event with HCCFrenzy. Lena was there herself speaking about the book and I was instantly intrigued! I'm a big fan of the Brontes, but I never really knew their "history" and I was curious to learn more. I think it is definitely a difficult task to take historical events or historical figures and make them accessible to the everyday reader. Especially to young adult readers, how can you make these historical events and historical figures interesting? What Coakley does is fuses together the lives of the Brontes in their childhood with a fantasy world created by imagination. Although Coakley's approach is entirely fictional, it is evident that a lot of research took place that went into this project. She was able to piece together events that happened to them and link them to events in the narrative and furthermore, the "characters" that were mentioned were created by the Brontes themselves (Rogue, Duke of Zamorna, and more). I loved how distinct each character's voice came through in the narrative. I will be biased and say that I enjoyed Charlotte's POV most. I loved that she put together this creative narrative is that founded primarily on "imagination" and reading this has definitely inspired my own writing and how I can push boundaries. If you are a fan of the Brontes, this is one read you should definitely check out! It reminded me Narnia at times as well with the moving into a different world.
My rating of the book: ✮✮✮✮ (4/5 stars)
Disclaimer: An advanced reader's copy of this book was sent to me by HCCFrenzy/HarperCollins Canada for consideration/review. All opinions are my own.