Sorrow of the Cranes

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Sorrow of the Cranes is an exquisite book full of wonder and fantasy. It tells the story of a girl named Joy and her adventures as she tries to save her sister and defeat an evil entity, the Queen of the Dolls.

Rudolfo Anaya is an airship mountain ferrymaster. His wife Drew is pregnant with their second daughter, Sorrow. She paints beautiful pictures of the Hidden World on their oldest daughter, Joy’s, bedroom walls and tells her stories about a breed of women called the crane wives who keep balance in the Hidden World. The Queen of Dolls has a cyclops son who falls in love with a crane wife, however, she becomes ill as she must be allowed to fly across the world to keep order. It is the music of the birds that keeps this balance. Drew tells Joy that there are many different endings to the tale. After telling Joy this story, Drew dies by falling down a broken banister. Rudolfo finds himself alone with Joy and his newborn baby girl, Sorrow. The girls are happy running amuck on the mountain while Rudolfo works. One day, Rudolfo’s mother comes to visit and convinces Rudolfo to let her take the girls to her home down the mountain so they can go to a proper school. The night before they leave with their grandmother, Sorrow finds herself flying with a group of ravens while wearing her mother’s dress that is covered in feathers. I felt this was where the book started getting really exciting. The descriptions of the birds as they guide Sorrow to glide up in the air are both alarming and surreal.

In the city, Joy and Sorrow do not pay heed to their teachers. They try to escape from school and upon doing so, find themselves in the Hidden World. There are groups of animals such as beavers and cats who have a King (or Queen) and they all play a part in this world. Sorrow is then kidnapped by the Queen of Dolls and Joy must find a way to rescue her.

This book is a fantastic, magical ride. Joy meets the oddest characters including talking animals, pirates, and the ever-so-creepy one-eyed Queen of the Dolls. I absolutely loved the character of Roy the Pig who is by Joy’s side every step of the way. I think this book would be best suited for teens to young adults as it has some real-life topics such as gender identity and the loss of a parent. Overall, Sorrow of the Cranes is a well-written book that will have the imaginations of its readers soaring. Perfect for fans of Madeleine L’Engle, Roald Dahl, and C.S. Lewis.

Reviewed By:

Author J. M. McDermott
Star Count /5
Format Trade
Page Count 238 pages
Publisher Independent
Publish Date 09-Jan-2022
ISBN 9798793123440 Buy this Book
Issue February 2022
Category Tweens