Wyndano’s Cloak is a fantasy adventure with imaginative worlds beautifully described by AR Silverberry. The Kingdom of Aerdem has hues and richness that sets it apart from the world outside, but the people in it are threatened by the machinations and mischief of Naryfel, Queen of Purpura, who has her own special reasons for hating Aerdem and especially its royal house.
It seems that in Aerdem most of the people are heroic and/or nice, with a few callow and vain characters who fall for Naryfel’s tricks and deceits. In Purpura most of the people do what the Queen wants unless they can get away from her direct influence in which case they can be pretty much normal. Then there is the Plain World which is a dull place full of dull people, although our heroine, Jen, grew up there. Magic seems to work only for places outside the Plain World.
Jen is our heroine, but she has lost her nerve since an accident learning to use Wyndano’s Cloak, a very useful magical object. Bit and Pet could also be grouped in the heroine category, however unlikely that seems given their characters, at least at the start, as Bit is girl whose self-esteem lies somewhere deep in the mud at the bottom of one of Aerdem’s lakes and Pet is the daughter of a local Count who could be modelled on your favourite bitchy high-school prom queen. I’m afraid I lost patience with the pair of them soon after they set off on their own quest and skim-read about 30% of the book without missing too much of the tale.
However after also skimming some of the more tortuous parts of Jen’s tale I came back into a gripping last 20% of the book, vividly described. In the final wash-up some nuances I’d skipped were clarified, so I didn’t feel I’d missed anything. Which begs the question, does it need editing? 400+ pages seems unnecessarily long for this type of tale.
I think the story and the devices used were better than Philip Pullman’s His Dark Materials (which I found too derivative), and if you enjoyed that I’m sure you will enjoy this.
“Better than His Dark Materials” but only 2.5 stars from me