Book Review: The Greying by Dallas Sutherland

CoverTitle: The Greying (Book One in the Landland Chronicles)

Author: Dallas Sutherland

Genre: Fantasy Novella

Age Group: Middle Grade

Rating: 4 stars

Purchase: Amazon

Review copy provided by Enchanted Book Promotions in exchange for an honest review.

LANDLAND CRIES OUT FOR A SAVIOUR… Upon the death of her mother, Meah is pulled across the boundary that separates this world and another time and place where the dog-like Firbog have brought the mists of the greying. Under the evil Queen Berilbog they threaten to claim all the lands. With her Mother dead and her Father missing – she is on her own! Can Meah learn how to use the power of the thinking? Will there be enough time to save both Landland and herself? Will Meah ever find her way home again? She must triumph over grief and sadness on her journey into a world made cold, grey, and colourless by the ravages of the greying. Meah travels into the depths of Bigriverland to find the mysterious sage, The Biggo. In the heart of Dead Wood, Meah meets Josh O’Tosh, the last of the warrior Pictish Priests. Battling lurking homunculi and the horrors of the many-headed-winged-thing, they set out to recover the only thing that will save Landland …her mother’s Book-of-Colours.

The Greying is an original middle grade fantasy novella that offers an original cast of characters and creatures, and mixes them with solid writing and an excellent plot.

When her mother passes away, and Meah wants to cast her ashes into the sea, she tumbles into the water, and ends up in a world that’s completely different to her own. The world has succumbed to strange mists, called the Greying, because an evil Queen wants to take over Landland and rule it, instead of the rightful rulers. Meah soon enough makes new friends in this foreign world – friends who believes she is the savior destined to rescue them all from the cold, grey, colourless world and bring the colour back.

The story is more complicated than it sounds, especially as Meah discovers some things throughout the book, particularly about Landland and how it came to be. Meah is a naieve, young girl, and she struggles at first with the responsibilities she’s facing, and with ending up in this strange, new land, and of course dealing with her Mom’s passing. But Meah grows up a lot throughout the book. She learns a lot about the world, about herself, and her inner strength. Her new friends, and the villain she’s facing, form an original, creative mix of characters, and kids will enjoy the creativity the author used to come up with these characters.

I enjoyed the book, and I’m sure middle graders will love it. If anything, I would’ve liked to see more original place names – it feels as if all the creativity went to the characters and plot, and the setting didn’t get the same creativity juice – but apart from that, the book was highly entertaining. Recommended to middle grade fantasy fans (and older fantasy fans).

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