I don’t re-read books. Its just not something that I do. I tend to remember stories pretty well, and have only begun to have the inclination to re-read my favorites within the last few years, but in general its not something that I do. The one exception to this pattern is Alys: The Terra Mirum Chronicles by Kiri Callaghan. I first read this book when it was self published in 2013, and have read it a minimum of three times. I will be reading it a fourth when it is re-released with 10k more words – and a gorgeous new cover – by Doce Blant publishing in less than a week on October 31st. So what is this amazing, captivating novel you ask? Well:
“Following her best friend’s suicide, Alyson Carroll descends into the realm of Dreams and Nightmares. In her quest to find home, she discovers that Charlie might not truly be gone after all, but when she meets Oswin, the prince of Terra Mirum, she must face her own fears and raise an army against The Nightmare Queen, or surrender as the world of dreams is consumed by terror and darkness forever.”
Alys is inspired by and in many many ways draws from Lewis Carroll’s Alice in Wonderland, a love and obsession of the author’s for many years. I also have a long lasting love and adoration of Alice, especially of retellings, reimaginings and rethinkings of it. Callaghan’s Alys looks at questions of escapism, of what we have to lose to be able to become who we need to be, and possibly more importantly considers the position of someone who has lost a loved one to mental illness. I am a firm believer that works of fiction give us the chance to discuss hard subjects because we can look at them through a fantastical and often more objective lens, giving us the distance we need in order to feel and process the subject matter. Alys is all of this, a beautiful story, an important conversation and just a damn good book that will always bear another read through.
I feel like I could go on all day about this book, but frankly, I would be spoiling things for you and, dear reader, this is a story I wouldn’t dare risk that for. Alys: The Terra Mirum Chronicles will be released on October 31st, 2016, but is available pre-order here.