Orfeia, Joanne M. Harris: Book Review

The most beautiful book inside and out with this emotive fairytale, you’ll love Orfeia by Joanne M. Harris.

The plot:

So begins a beautiful and tragic quest as a heartbroken mother sets out to save her lost daughter, through the realms of the real, of dream and even into the underworld itself.

But determination alone is not enough. For to save something so precious, she must give up something precious, be it a song, a memory, or her freedom itself…

A classic modern fairytale which will not be forgotten

You know when you find a book which just takes your heart and keeps it? That’s definitely Orfeia for me.

Everything jumps out at you, and I loved the themes of family and grief whilst it still offers you the magical elements of a fairytale. It’s a re-telling of the Greek mythology of Orpheus (which I googled after to avoid any spoilers) and is incredibly emotive and entracing.

It’s advertised as a modern fairytale which I totally agree with – it does have elements of older tales, including ballads at the beginning of each section.

It has gorgeous and meaningful repetition, is a quick read (novella) which really packs a punch with all the emotions. Orfeia completely envelopes you and transports you to another land, and whilst taking a sinister turn with that extra shock, unpredictable element near the end, it is a totally absorbing read.

The illustrations by Bonnie Helen Hawkins are stunning; so incredibly detailed and goes hand-in-hand with what is happening in the story. These illustrations definitely make it a different type of read, and I couldn’t stop looking at them – so mesmerising!

I always think, with fairytales, that the smaller characters make as much of an impact as the main characters and that’s true here. I loved how they’re created, and you get so much description that it’s easy to envision them in front of you.

This is very much a classic modern fairytale which will not be forgotten.

5-stars; I absolutely loved it, and it’s the type of book you’ll go back to again and again. This was my first read by this author, and there are two previous folklore-inspired novellas which are now on my ‘immediate buy’ list.

Orfeia, Joanne M. Harris, RRP £14.99 (hardback); Book Depository 

Illustrated by Bonnie Helen Hawkins

Pages: 218

Publisher: Gollancz

Genre: Fiction

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