Thursday, April 24, 2008

Ysabel

This was an incredibly evocative novel. I mean that it really gives you a feel for where it is set and makes you want to visit there. This book is a Celtic/Modern Day ghost story set in Aix En Provence, France. The author has obviously spent a lot of time there, not only figuring out where things are and the history, but the feel of the place, how the sunlight makes the castles look in the morning and again at sunset.
I was struck by the amount of history contained in certain regions of Europe. In all of Europe really. We Americans are not used to things more than a couple of hundred years old. The Indian Ruins of Mesa Verde and such don't seem to count because they have been abandoned for so long. In Europe people are still living in and using artifacts much older than our country. This age was as much a character in the book as any other person in it.
The ghosts keep coming back because of the change of cultures, from Celtic to Greek, Roman and Christian eventually. It is interesting to think what the world would be like if the Romans hadn't taken over so much. As much as people like to romanticize Celtic things, I think a religion that was just as much into human sacrifice as the Meso-American cultures is probably best left in the past. A good book, mostly YA, since the narrator is a thirteen year old boy, very much a coming of age type of book.

Ysabel. Guy Gavriel Kay. ROC. 2007

2 comments:

jendoop said...

Sounds like something I would enjoy. Would it make me have nightmares?

readerMom said...

no, its not that scary.