Name: A Pocketful of Crows
Author: Joanne M. Harris
Number of Pages: 256 (Hardback)
Published: October 19th 2017 by Gollancz
Joanne M Harris has written a beautiful and powerful stand-alone novella which springs from the page as a haunting, lyrical and utterly compelling modern fairy tale. Inspired by the Child Ballads, it’s a superb tale of love, loss and revenge. – from Goodreads
What a lovely book. Everything about it just hits the right note, from the gorgeously striking black cover with gold embossing creating an intricate design, to the beautiful illustrations appearing throughout the story. They really do add a little extra magic to this already magical story.
And the writing. The writing and expression is beautiful.
A Pocketful of Crows is a short but thoroughly engrossing tale of love, loss, revenge and experience.
A named thing is a tamed thing, observes our narrator early on, and so of course, she is nameless, for she is young, wild and free. She has the ability to go into nature, to travel within and experience life in other forms, from the wind and the trees, to the powerful creatures of the forest. She is one of the travelling folk.
But then she experiences infatuation and love, in the form of William MacCormac, a young heir who lives in a castle, and, reluctantly at first, she accepts when he names her Malmuira, the dark lady of the mountains.
Named is tamed, so from that point on, our heroine becomes an outcast to her people, and can no longer merge with nature and take any form. But, William loves her, and there is talk of marriage, so she is happy.
But it doesn’t end there, of course. For William may not be as true as the girl would hope, and pinning her future happiness on him may have been a mistake which will have a cost for more than just the girl herself.
But here I must stop. I could tell you so much more about this captivating story, but it’s quite a short read anyway, and it’s one you should definitely experience for yourself for the lyrical writing and beautiful illustrations. It reads like a fairytale, albeit a dark one, and I enjoyed it very much. I loved the passing of the seasons, and the change in the lead character as she learns of life, love and revenge.