Colin Meloy, perhaps most well known as the frontman for the hit indie band The Decemberists, has just released his first novel. The musician has always been a bibliophile* -- just listen to any one of his songs for proof -- and now he has taken that love to a new level. Wildwood, the first in a planned trilogy, is a 600-page YA novel, with illustrations provided by Meloy's wife, Carson Ellis.
Clearly, I have to read this book. I love The Decemberists. I love artists trying out new things, new mediums, new adventures. I love fantasy novels. And the blurb has me thinking - or perhaps hoping? - that this could be the kind of YA novel that adults fall in love with, too. "Original and fresh yet steeped in classic fantasy"? Sign me up. "Warring creatures" and "peacable mystics"? Must. Read.
See for yourself:
Prue McKeel’s life is ordinary. At least until her baby brother is abducted by a murder of crows. And then things get really weird.
You see, on every map of Portland, Oregon, there is a big splotch of green on the edge of the city labeled “I.W.” This stands for “Impassable Wilderness.” No one’s ever gone in—or at least returned to tell of it.
And this is where the crows take her brother.
So begins an adventure that will take Prue and her friend Curtis deep into the Impassable Wilderness. There they uncover a secret world in the midst of violent upheaval, a world full of warring creatures, peaceable mystics, and powerful figures with the darkest intentions. And what begins as a rescue mission becomes something much bigger as the two friends find themselves entwined in a struggle for the very freedom of this wilderness.
A wilderness the locals call Wildwood.
Wildwood is a spellbinding tale full of wonder, danger, and magic that juxtaposes the thrill of a secret world and modern city life. Original and fresh yet steeped in classic fantasy, this is a novel that could have only come from the imagination of Colin Meloy, celebrated for his inventive and fantastic storytelling as the lead singer of the Decemberists. With dozens of intricate and beautiful illustrations by award-winning artist Carson Ellis, Wildwood is truly a new classic for the twenty-first century.
What do you think? Will you read it? Any other lovers of The Decemberists out there?
*For more about Meloy's love of literature, and how it has influenced his music, and how this book is clearly really awesome, check out Paste Magazine's review of Wildwood, which is the kind of well done contextual review I wish I wrote more of in my life.