review of The Gwythienian by Savannah Goins


★★★★★

reviewed by Cy Wyss

Enzi is a seventeen year old outcast, uncomfortable in her own body ever since she was attacked and grossly scarred at the age of ten. We never really find out what happened to her, but someone named Caleb was at fault and still walks around in her town a free man. Hopefully, we’ll never meet him outside of a morgue. Enzi is a likable character, in spite of being overweight and having no obvious special talents. I wish the author had given her something besides pure pluck, like making her good at math, or an amazing artist. In spite of this lack, I found myself rooting for Enzi from the get-go, always a sign of a good story.

And, the story is very good. It kept me interested. I was hardly able to put the book down once Enzi met Gaedyn the Gwythienian. I think everyone will be a little in love with Gaedyn, not just Enzi. This is a story that’s been told before, of a special stone and it’s “Possessor,” a guardian and an unwelcome human in a fantasy land. Still, Goins tells her version with obvious love for her characters and an unusual sensitivity to their predicaments. I especially liked that Enzi suffered a particular “female problem” during her quest. I’ve never seen that in any other book with a female hero, and it’s always on my mind because (spoken or not) every woman has to deal with it. That and Goins’s general attentiveness to detail really carry the book. I recommend The Gwythienian to anyone looking for a YA adventure that’s easy to get into and hard to put down.

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