Thursday, 24 November 2016

THE MONARCH OF THE GLEN by Neil Gaiman

A special illustrated edition of the AMERICAN GODS novella from storytelling genius Neil Gaiman. 

We first meet Baldur 'Shadow' Moon's in AMERICAN GODS, where he gets caught up in a war between gods in the USA. In THE MONARCH OF THE GLEN, Shadow's journey has brought him to the north coast of Scotland, where he finds himself a bouncer at a party. 


Like I said in my Black Dog review, I'm a huge fan of Neil Gaiman's work. He always manages to tell intriguing stories about deeply interesting character who are inherently good, extremely wicked, or a wonderful mix of both. And yes, being another story set in the American Gods world definitely appealed to me.

Shadow Moon is minding his own business in a bar in Scotland when one of the locals starts a conversation with him. Well, he pretty much calls him a monster and claims he can just tell. Plus he offers him what he says is an easy job during a private weekend party. Shadow also catches the attention of the barmaid, who turns out to be an enigmatic woman whose words don't make sense, yet the meaning is very obvious.

At the same time, Shadow's nights are full of weird dreams with people from his past, strange situations and men who want his help.

When the weekend finally comes and he arrives at the isolated house, he starts to realise that something isn't quite right. And that he's gotten himself caught up in the middle of an ancient situation with only one outcome...

Of course this turned out to be another excellent story by a master storyteller. I seriously love Shadow and the trouble the poor guy unintentionally attracts. Again, his easy, calm manner make outsiders--no matter how smart they think they are--realise too late just how clever he really is. I also really liked the very cryptic Jennie and the sorrowful story she had to tell. Like Black Dog, Gaiman sprinkles this story with very relevant breadcrumbs that slowly but surely lead to the heart of everything. The mythology and folklore was definitely awesome, and totally fitting.

This book is so beautiful. The cover is simple but still manages to catch your eye, the hardback book is lovely, and the illustrations made by Daniel Egnéus add to the tense drumbeat. There's even a burgundy bound ribbon bookmark attached.

The Monarch of the Glen is an intriguing and exciting novella with an air of wonder and danger that hooked me instantly. It's another very clever story I'll happily be adding to my bookshelf.

Neil Gaiman, you've done it again.

I loved this. Heaps!


The Monarch of the Glen, November 2016, ISBN 9781472235435, Headline

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