The Mourning Ring
by Sarah Parke
Publication Date: October 10, 2016
eBook & Paperback; 350 Pages
Genre: Young Adult/Historical Fantasy
READ AN EXCERPT.
Sixteen-year-old Charlotte Bronte lives to tell stories. She longs to improve her fortunes through her writing. Charlotte’s father expects her to leave behind her childish fantasies in order to set an example for her three younger siblings.
But the Bronte children hold a secret in their veins—a smidgen of fairy blood that can bring their words to life.
When Charlotte discovers that the characters from their childish stories exist in an alternate world called Glass Town, she jumps at the opportunity to be the heroine of her own tale.
The city of Angria teeters on the brink of civil war and Charlotte and her siblings must use their magic and their wits to save its people from a tyrant with magic abilities. But entering the fictional world means forfeiting control of their own creations. If they fail, the characters they have come to know and love will be destroyed.
Charlotte is determined to save the city and characters she loves, but when the line between creator and character becomes blurred, will she choose her fantasy or her family?
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As a young woman returning from school, 16 year old Charlotte Bronte can't wait to jump back into the make believe world of Glass Town and her favorite activity to share with her siblings, storytelling. Together, the remaining Bronte siblings- Charlotte, Branwell, Anne and Emily have created the alternate world of Glass Town and keep meticulous written records of the events there. However, when a strange sleepwalking occurrence happens, a memory of Charlotte's meeting with her fairy grandfather and the strange gift he gave her resurfaces. The siblings begin to learn about their fairy bloodlines from their Aunt and attempt to learn the magic that has been brewing in their bones. Meanwhile, things are not going well in the city of Angria in the sibling's alternate world. Thanks to Branwell's imagination, there is a new King and a civil war is on the brink. When the former King crosses worlds to ask for Charlotte's aid in retaking the throne, she is more than ready to cross realms and step into the world of their creation.
I have always wanted the chance to step into the worlds from certain books, and I would definitely take the opportunity to visit a world of my own creation and talk to the people there! Aimed at young adults, but an absolute pleasure to read as an adult, The Mourning Ring is a magical and whimsical story that serves as a wonderful introduction into the world of the highly imaginative and revered storytellers themselves, the Bronte's. I was pleased to find out that the four siblings really did create these worlds in their youth and served as a start to the three sister's writing careers. With the addition of the fairy blood, the story was able to be brought into the fantasy world. The adventures in Glass Town were the highlight of the story, rich descriptions of the land, the dress and the characters that the Brontes loved made Glass Town just as real to me. I was excited when each sibling had the chance to interact with the character of their making and had to come to terms with that character's features and flaws. The trouble in Glass Town also parallels Branwell's future true-life troubles, however, in the story the siblings must work together to reinstate their former King Zamora and not become too entangled within the land of their own creation. Overall, a unique look into the early lives of four extraordinary siblings and the creative process that fueled their imaginations.
This book was received for free in return for an honest review.
Sarah Parke writes fantasy and historical fiction (sometimes at the same time) for young adult readers and those young at heart.
She has a MFA in Writing Popular Fiction from the University of Southern Maine’s Stonecoast MFA program. Her work has been published internationally, most recently in the July 2015 issue of The Writer magazine.
For more information, please visit Sarah Parke’s website. You can also find her on Facebook, Twitter, and Goodreads.