Phoenicia Publishing, 2012, 103 pages
Thaliad is a post-apocalyptic tale, orchestrated in verse. Part novel, part fantasy, and always compelling, it tells the story of a group of children who make an arduous journey of escape and then settle in a deserted rural town on the shores of a beautiful lake. There, they must learn how to survive, using tools and knowledge they discover in the ruins of the town, but also how to live together. At the heart of the story is the young girl Thalia, who gradually grows to womanhood, and into the spiritual role for which she was destined.
Following in the great tradition of narrative poetry, Thaliad tells a gripping story populated with sharply-drawn, memorable characters whose struggles illuminate the complexity of human behavior from its most violent to most noble. At the same time, through its accessible language and style, the epic presents wholly contemporary questions about what is necessary not only for physical survival, but for the flourishing of the human spirit.
Thaliad is decorated throughout with original collages by the renowned Welsh artist Clive Hicks-Jenkins.
YEAR 1 AFTER THE FIRE. The endless mourning of a boy. A highway, drear or harrowing. A moment of wild thoughtlessness that sealed the end of innocence.
Verdict: I loved this. Who the hell writes a post-apocalyptic YA novella in blank verse? Obviously, someone inspired by a non-commercial muse. Thaliad is beautiful and touching and deserves a wider audience. Highly recommended!
Also by Marly Youmans: My review of The Curse of the Raven Mocker and Ingledove.
My complete list of book reviews.