Name: Across The Great Barrier
Author(s): Patricia C. Wrede
Series Standing: Book two (Frontier Magic series)
*This review may contain spoilers if you haven’t read the previous book*
What It’s About: If she wanted to, Eff could be a powerful magician. But she doesn’t. She only just stopped believing that she (as a thirteenth child) is unlucky, and magic isn’t really what she wants to do for a living. Instead she takes a job at the Menagerie, helping to take care of the animals, and keep paperwork in check. After a bit, she is offered a position as assistant on a expedition out west, past the Great Barrier, to catalogue plant growth and animals after the infestation of grubs that threatened the settlements not so long ago. During this endeavor, they run across peculiar stone animals, that seem to have been instantly petrified. And with rumors of the creature that petrified them circling, and an accident which might threaten Lan’s life, she really has her hands full.
My Review: This book was okay for me, not bad, but not great. Just good. Like the last book in this series, it doesn’t have much real action till the end. You kind of want more from a book that mixes the wild west with magic. Also, I felt that sometimes I would have understood more if there was a map in the front of the book, or if they explained more about what the Secession War they mentioned was about. In the book Eff keeps having strange dreams. It is later determined what caused them, but it never said why, and they didn’t seem important to the story. To sum it all up, this was a fair book with a few flaws.
Re-Readability: Medium. This might sit in my bookcase a while before I pick it up again.
“You can’t force folks to have good sense, even if they’re family. Maybe especially then.”
“He ran on like that for a while; I just sat and watched. It was plain as day he didn’t expect me to disapprove more than a token, for form’s sake. He ran down a whole long list of answers to objections I hadn’t made and worries I hadn’t mentioned. It was some time before he noticed I wasn’t saying anything at all.”
“Weeding is a good job to do when you need to think about things, and I needed to think even more than I’d let on to Lan.”