Monday, December 13, 2010
The Boy From Ilysies (YA)
The Boy From Ilysies. Pearl North. 2010. Tom Doherty Associates. 320 pages.
Po had offended the Princess of Ilysies.
I didn't enjoy The Boy from Ilysies as much as I enjoyed the first novel, Libyrinth. Perhaps because this novel is told from a different perspective. I found Haly's "gift" of reading books to be charming. I loved reading all the bookish quotes. I particularly enjoyed how The Diary of A Young Girl was incorporated into the plot. It was just an interesting premise, an interesting world--a complex world peopled with many cultures.
The Boy From Ilysies occurs after "the redemption." Po, our narrator, isn't the only Ilysian who has chosen to remain in the new community of Libyrinth, but he is the only male. He struggles (to put it mildly) to find a place within the community. He has a way of easily offending others, and a way of being easily offended by others. Po is a sensitive guy who cries and cries and cries...but at the same time, a guy who can't resist a fight. There are many who just don't understand him. At all. How he can be weak and strong at the same time.
Part of this is culture clash. Readers are told about how Ilysian males are trained to be consorts. They're trained to serve women, to fulfill women's needs and desires. Women are to be respected, honored, admired, loved, served, etc. So Po sees many invitations--some intended, some not--in small things. (If a woman says she's tired and going to go take a bath, then that's an "invite" for company.) He's NOT in Ilysia anymore. And he's not learned enough about the world to really survive or function.
This novel is more about politics, gender roles, culture clashes, sexuality, etc., than the first novel. The community is still being threatened by various groups--including the Queen of Ilysia. Not all are happy about this so-called "Redemption." So there are still adventures to be had, and dangers to be faced.
© Becky Laney of Becky's Book Reviews