Thursday, April 12, 2018

Book Review: 'Taliasman' by Anastasia Vitsky


The problem with being whisked away to a new life is that the troubles of the old one almost always travel with you.
There’s something to be said for reworking an old, traditional story for a new generation. I’d never heard of the legend that this one was loosely based on, so I didn’t have any preconceptions about what should happen next. The rewrite worked well, though, and it made me pretty curious to compare it to the original. To me this is a sign of a successful retelling.
I had a lot of trouble understanding the relationship between Talia and Vina. So much of it involved conflict and codependency that it dampened the chemistry I was expecting to find between them. Both characters were really interesting as individuals, but they didn’t work so together at all as a couple. It was hard to see why they were attracted to one another. Including more information about how they met and what they like about each other would have helped me understand why they’re a good match.
It took a while to fill in the gaps about when and where everything took place. During the first several chapters I wondered if it had a contemporary setting based on what certain characters said, but after a while I figured out that it does seem to take place in the past. What surprised me about this is that it actually works well with the overall dreamlike quality of the plot. Different sections were just as ambiguous about other topics, so leaving it up to the reader to discover these things was a smart move.
Taliasman is a good choice for fairy tale enthusiasts.

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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