Magic school in the Borderlands isn’t exactly what Elliot had imagined. Technology doesn’t work, everyone wears funny clothes, and – worst of all – there’s always fighting! Luckily, Elliot is ready to solve every conflict he comes across peacefully. He might even meet a few mermaids along the way.
In Other Lands is one of the most realistic fantasy-fiction books I’ve ever come across. Despite all of the weapons training and mystical creatures, the message it presents is no fairytale. War and diplomacy are hard. There’s no big magical quest that just happens to solve everything involved here. All of the characters have to work to solve the problems that arise, and more often than not it doesn’t go perfectly the first time around.
Elliot’s character was extremely interesting to me. Main characters tend to be the “chosen warrior” type in these kinds of books and Elliot is very much the opposite. He spends most of the book trying to prevent further war in whatever way he can. His difficulty with relationships is also something I’d like to see more of in literature. Through the book, Elliot falls in and out of relationships often. Some of them never come to fruition while others last for a while. The trouble he has with interacting with others is a huge character trait that comes into play often, not just when it’s convenient. He’s horrible and obnoxious and that gets him into all sorts of situations. Really, this book did such a wonderful job and I’d love to read more like it in the future.
Yours in love and literature, Page.
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