Echo Alkaev’s safe and carefully structured world falls apart when her father leaves for the city and mysteriously disappears. Believing he is lost forever, Echo is shocked to find him half-frozen in the winter forest six months later, guarded by a strange talking wolf—the same creature who attacked her as a child. The wolf presents Echo with an ultimatum: If she lives with him for one year, he will ensure her father makes it home safely. But there is more to the wolf than Echo realizes.
In his enchanted house beneath a mountain, each room must be sewn together to keep the home from unraveling, and something new and dark and strange lies behind every door. When centuries-old secrets unfold, Echo discovers a magical library full of books-turned-mirrors, and a young man named Hal who is trapped inside of them. As the year ticks by, the rooms begin to disappear, and Echo must solve the mystery of the wolf’s enchantment before her time is up, otherwise Echo, the wolf, and Hal will be lost forever.
Now, I can’t say I know anything about East of the Sun and West of the Moon, but I can say I’m a big fan of this retelling. I received an eARC for Wind Daughter and figured I should read Echo North first, and I am so glad I did.
Beautifully written, I loved the mystery woven throughout this fairy tale. There are stories inside stories, and Echo is discovering herself while she figures out this enchanted castle and her place within it. I like that when it feels like one story is ending, it’s only evolving, and all those clues you missed while you were absorbed in the story were leading somewhere. Somewhere big and magical and breathtaking.
My only complaint is that I felt a little removed from the characters – maybe because of the dream-like quality of the narrative – and while I was rooting for them, it did feel like something was missing. It’s the only thing keeping me from giving this five stars as I loved the breadth of this tale and the setting Meyer wove together, almost literally, in this enchanted castle and beyond.