A Rogue Librarian's Reading List

{March 6, 2011}   Ever by Gail Carson Levine

Plot: Olus is the newly-born god of the winds. As the youngest of the Akkan gods, he is lonely and tries to make friends among the mortals. His quest leads him to Kezi, a beautiful young dancer and weaver. But just as their love begins to blossom, Kezi is promised as a sacrifice to her god. The two lovers must undergo trials and travel to the underworld if they wish to have their happily ever after.

Ever is one of Levine’s most recent books. Like all her stories it is quite enchanting though it is more tragic and much less funny than Fairest and Ella Enchanted. It is not based on a fairy tale like many of her other novels but Kezi’s journey into the underworld was very reminiscent of the myths of Inanna and Persephone.

The romance is very sweet. At first I had my doubts because Kezi falls very quickly in love and Olus comes off a bit like a stalker at first, though a divine one. But Levine very deftly expresses the problems of this romance caused by Kezi’s sacrifice, by cultural differences and by the fact that Olus is a god denied by Kezi’s religion. Nor can one ignore the courage and intelligence shown by both parties in preserving their love.

This is a lovely romantic fantasy for all ages. Kezi is a strong, brave and selfless heroine who is hard to dislike for she has many doubts and fears which she is willing to confront. It is also nice to move away from the typical Medieval European fantasy to one deeply rooted in the Mesopotamian world.

Challenges: The Into the Old World Challenge (13)


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