I ran across Danyelle Leafty’s book, Of Wind and Winter, back in early 2014. I picked it up because I liked the cover (as I sometimes do), and I wasn’t disappointed. Bottomless is a prequel to that story.
Lyralind had stolen an apple. Of course, seeing as she only stole the impossible, it was the Apple of Indefinite Slumber. To make matters worse, it had been stolen from her and fed to the Lord and Lady of the Sky, causing them to fall into an endless sleep which would allow a great evil to invade the world and turn everything to nothingness. So, Lyralind had to fix everything.
Leafty’s style of writing in Bottomless is unusual when compared to most modern fantasies or fairy tales. It reminds me of the style found in East of the Sun and West of the Moon, which is perhaps not surprising since some of the mythos from those books is found in these stories. I enjoy the style because it stands out.
This tale of Lyralind correcting an error, but still staying true to who she is (a tricky thief in it “all-for-one-and-that’s-me”), is very reminiscent of many Eastern European fairy tales, and makes me nostalgic for my youth. I devoured all the fairy tale and mythology books I could find on the Bookmobile that visited my small town. Some of my favorites were these Russian, Polish, Slavic, and lesser-known-in-the-West stories from which Leafty draws inspiration for Bottomless.
The one gripe I had with it was the really large cast of characters. While Leafty did a good job with characterization in the space she had, there were just too many of them in the trial scene and at the end. If the story had been longer, with more adventures of Lyralind, there could have been more time to really flesh them out. Even the first novel in the series didn’t have as many characters. This isn’t a huge drawback, however.
Bottomless is a quick read and definitely worth the small price. The story never drags, and the main character is interesting and resourceful. It is only available as an ebook right now, but perhaps it will be collected with one of the other volumes in the Tales of the Snow Queen series. Despite its shortcomings, this is a solid short story.
Release Date: August 7, 2015 (USA)
Publisher: Curious Leaf Press
Violence: 1 (some mild peril, no real fighting)