Monday, November 20, 2017

Book Review: 'The Kura' by Mary Patterson Thornburg

Can the reality of Bandor ever live up to Alyssha’s dreams?
Alyssha’s life has been on hold ever since her visit to Bandor. Even though she was only twelve when she went through the door to Bandor, she knew in her heart that the other universe was her home. Only a promise to her father has kept her from crossing over again. I must admit that I have mixed feelings about Alyssha’s situation. On one hand, I admire her patience and determination. On the other hand, I can’t help but feel that Alyssha has missed out on so much. By living in her dreams, she essentially withdrew from the real world. However, Alyssha seems to be okay with this, and despite her lack of close relationships, she is a sweet young woman, and I looked forward to getting to know her as I read.
Ms. Thornburg did an excellent job of creating an alternate universe. I found the similarities and differences between the two universes interesting. However, I must let readers know that this is not a book to race through. In order to truly appreciate this book, readers need to take their time and really soak up the atmosphere of the world that Ms. Thornburg has created. That being said, I did find the sections detailing the political situation and the various clans and factions a little slow. While it definitely provided useful information key to understanding the world Alyssha was living in, it was a bit hard to get into those sections.
Once in Bandor, Alyssha finds herself in a strange love triangle. Kardl has changed quite a bit since she last saw him, and Alyssha isn’t sure if anything remains of the boy she fell in love with. Another man has also attracted her attention. I must say that Alyssha’s romantic dilemmas are resolved in unexpected ways, and I enjoyed watching Alyssha mature and learn to live and love in the real Bandor, and not just the one in her fantasies.
I must say that I loved the ending of this tale. I can’t say much without spoiling it, but I will say that someone very important to Alyssha makes a decision that I never foresaw and yet it made complete sense. It definitely left me with a smile on my face.
The Kura is certainly an enjoyable tale. Readers looking to lose themselves in a tale of love and friendship should definitely give The Kura a try.

Editor's note: This article was originally published at Long and Short ReviewsIt has been republished with permission. Like what you read? Subscribe to the SFRB's free daily email notice so you can be up-to-date on our latest articles. Scroll up this page to the sign-up field on your right.

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