Prue McKeels life is ordinary. At least until her baby brother is abducted by a murder of crows. And then things get really weird.
You see, on every map of Portland, Oregon, there is a big splotch of green on the edge of the city labeled "I.W." This stands for "Impassable Wilderness." No ones ever gone inor at least returned to tell of it.
And this is where the crows take her brother.
So begins an adventure that will take Prue and her friend Curtis deep into the Impassable Wilderness. There they uncover a secret world in the midst of violent upheaval, a world full of warring creatures, peaceable mystics, and powerful figures with the darkest intentions. And what begins as a rescue mission becomes something much bigger as the two friends find themselves entwined in a struggle for the very freedom of this wilderness.
A wilderness the locals call Wildwood.
Wildwood is a spellbinding tale full of wonder, danger, and magic that juxtaposes the thrill of a secret world and modern city life. Original and fresh yet steeped in classic fantasy, this is a novel that could have only come from the imagination of Colin Meloy, celebrated for his inventive and fantastic storytelling as the lead singer of the Decemberists. With dozens of intricate and beautiful illustrations by award-winning artist Carson Ellis, Wildwood is truly a new classic for the twenty-first century.
c h a p t e r 2
As long as Prue could remember, every map she had ever seen of Portland and the surrounding countryside had been blotted with a large, dark green patch in the center, stretching like a growth of moss from the northwest corner to the southwest, and labeled with the mysterious initials I.W. She hadnt thought to ask about it until one night, before Mac was born, when she was sitting with her parents in the living room. Her dad had brought home a new atlas and they were lying in the recliner together, leafing through the pages and tracing their fingers over boundary lines and sounding out the exotic place names of far-flung countries. When they arrived at a map of Oregon, Prue pointed to the small, inset map of Portland on the page and asked the question that had always confounded her:
Whats the I.W.?
Nothing, honey, had been her fathers reply. He flipped back to the map...
Part of the unique and successful structure of Wildwood comes from Colin Meloy's ability to bring these fantastical elements together with the recognizable foundation of Portland, Oregon and its wild—but very real—Forest Park. This highly creative story and firmly grounded landscape, combined with a familiar culture of bureaucratic red tape and politics-as-usual, creates a remarkable debut, one that speaks to—and about—our present state of affairs, as well as our wildest imaginations.
(Reviewed by Tamara Smith).
Full Review (970 words).
Husband and wife Colin Meloy and Carson Ellis live in a neighborhood in Forest Park, a 5000 acre northwestern wilderness on the edge of Portland, Oregon. To Colin and Carson, who spend hours and hours walking through the forest, it feels like its own country, vastly different from, yet so close to, the city. This is the inspirational landscape for Wildwood. In fact, when Colin and Carson began working in earnest on the Wildwood series, they began with a map that Carson drew of Forest Park, and from there their imaginations soared.
They have been brewing the world of Wildwood for a while. "The germ of this series goes back a long way," Meloy says. "For me, this is the culmination of a long-term collaboration with Carson, ...
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