Believe it or not, you won’t want to live in the world that the book is based on; at one time, it feels quite familiar, while at other times, its grotesqueness comes around to strike you with awe and shock. I found that the following passage describes that world quite metaphorically:
“It had Taria’s features—a high forehead, wide-set eyes, a perfectly pointed nose, and petite lips. It was, undoubtedly, hers. Not yet fully grown, the creature—scarcely over a foot tall—was a few inches shorter than Abe, Nellie, and Ani. Aside from that, it was like any other canonipom. It was very thin and had a spherical head with large, round eyes, razor-sharp teeth, and pygmy ears. It had claws, too, and feet resembling hands. More than half of its height was accounted for by its legs, and its arms were nearly as long as its lower limbs.”
A second interesting thing about this book is the way it starts. Although like most books it starts with a description of landscapes, time period, etc., it does not turn into some exercise in indulgence for the author, for she is quick to jump into the ‘action’ part of the book. This is good because overlong and excessively descriptive passages make me yawn!
Thirdly, the dialogs are okay, nothing sort of stellar, but they hover between average and above average and are oftentimes humorous which is a saving grace.
Of particular interest to me is the following dialog as it comes with a ‘royal’ touch; I found it somewhat amusing:
“King Sol wishes to see you,” said the man, unlocking Kaia’s cage.
“Are you not Ms. Kaia Stone?”
“The king requests your presence.”
Here is another amusing exchange I could not help but share:
A startled Aylin jumped. “Kaia!” she reprimanded.
“I count eleven.”
“As do I.”
“To look inside,” she said, lowering her head.
“For once, extinguish your fancy.”
“It has only served to our benefit thus far,” murmured Kaia.
“This is too delicate a matter.””
I have no idea why, but after reading “The ground was fertile” and the above dialog exchange I wished I could be there with Kaia so I could lift her dress and see her ‘inside’. Call me a creep for that (in case you don’t get it, I meant I became unusually horny after reading all that)! Anyhow rest assured this is a nice, clean and decent book suitable for all ages; the problem is with me, not with the book.
Although a character’s thoughts are usually delineated in italics, I feel that such an approach may not be required for this book as the character’s thoughts and her dialogs are written in different styles.
“Wait, she remembered, it’s too dark. They won’t be able to discern my color. And if they see the tears, let them think that joy is the culprit.”
The twist in the end is also a nice touch.
What I did not like about this book: the book starts in a somewhat disjointed manner; I wish the author could have “smoothened” out the initial chapters like she did with the rest of the book; I don’t know how else to describe it, it is just the way I felt. Also, none of the characters appealed to me much. The supporting characters were mostly stock caricatures you would find in novels of this genre, and the heroine was more or less acting like a marionette whose strings were pulled by the author; she just seemed to ‘go with the flow’ to speak, and I did not notice some kind of ‘soul’ or unique personality in her.
Conclusion: If you don’t care much about the characters of a book and just want a lazy Sunday afternoon read that is entertaining and does not make you think too much, this is a great buy for you. I feel that this book would be specially appealing to children due to its feel good theme as well as the ‘action/adventure’ parts.