Book reviews / Fantasy

Book review: Outside the Gates

Why had I never heard of this book?!

I was just wandering through Forbidden Planet and spotted this slim volume and was amazed to read that it was over 30 friggin’ years old.

So the story is quite simple, but it’s beautiful in how simple and straightforward it is. It’s very atmospheric, all forests and rivers, darkness and light. It follows a boy named Vren who is exiled from his home because he’s ‘shadowed’ which basically means he has some sort of power. In Vren’s case it’s because he can understand and communicate with animals. He’s found by Rusche who can manipulate the weather after his exile and for a few years they have a simple, but happy life living in the forest.

However, one day Rusche goes missing and Vren sets off to find him. I won’t tell you the rest as it’ll give it’ll away! But safe to say, it was a really lovey read. It’s not very long (more of a novella than a novel) but it manages to pack in a lot of emotion and world building. The journey is simple but effective, with unique and interesting characters.

The volume I had also included a lovely short story at the end too.

Anyway not much to add. Other than I wish I didn’t discover books written by women that I would have loved as a kid but thirty years too late.

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