Sunday, September 16, 2012

Review: The Brides of Rollrock Island by Margo Lanagan

The Brides of Rollrock Island by Margo Lanagan
Pages:  305
Release Date:  September 11th, 2012
Date Read:  2012, August 22nd-28th
Received:  Borrowed ARC
Rating:  5/5 stars
Recommended to:  15+

On the Island of Rollrock, Misskaella is ridiculed.  She is pushed aside, teased, but also unnoticed.  She's fat, ugly, and incapable compared to the sturdy women of Rollrock.  But she has a gift, one that will change the destiny of Rollrock.  She is a Seal Witch, a woman who can remove the skin of seals and bring forth the woman inside.  Ridiculed she may be - but she is also powerful.  And soon Rollrock will understand just what that means.

Daaaang...  I wasn't expecting this book to be so magnificent.  For once, the contents match the cover!  This book was everything I'd hoped, and more.  The writing, especially, surprised me.  It held the most character I've ever seen, and was so languid, yet powerful; stunning, but in a soft way.  Just gripping!  I hope the author continues to write more wonderful books such as this!

The characters in this book were very real to me because none were perfect.  I actually disliked all but maybe four.  Even the ones I disliked, however, were brilliant, for that exact reason: I didn't like them.  My dislike was so strong and real that it made me feel like the story was actually happening to me.

I really liked Daniel Mallett, and his mum.  They were so vibrant to me, and their story was very touching.  I also really really loved the seal women.  Despite their often distasteful and inappropriate affairs, I thought them intriguing and just beautiful.

The girl at the end, Lory, was such a neat perspective.  I loved what she added!

But my favorite of all, by far, is Misskaella, the seal witch.  She wowed me.  her quiet confidence in the fact that her actions would destroy the people of Rollrock was raw and powerful.  A woman scorned shall not be messed with!  I mean, the whole time I was rooting for her revenge...I was so sucked in!

Margo Lanagan wrote this book as a series of short stories - something I never thought I'd love, but wow!  This was such a neat idea.  It felt more like chapters than individual stories, and I fell right into the grasp of each one!

I was never once bored.  I had no clue how things would go, or end.  But Lanagan sure had the perfect execution and end planned out.  Brides definitely has a "what goes around, comes around" theme that really struck me as powerful.  it was neat to see some stand up for what's right and truthful, and others to fall prey to the madness of the seal women.  Some of the island women were wonderful, upright women who stood firm, and others were very, very...irritating. Ha!

Full of magnificence.  And lots of wowing.  I can't say enough - definitely give this a try!  Hopefully, you'll love it as much as I did! :)

For the Parents -
2 separate instances of sexual encounters.  1st, Misskaella encounters the King seal in man form and the two share a night of passion.  We only hear of how Misskaella feels loved for the first time in her life.  It wasn't explicit in any way, more factual.  The second was a reference to a man and a seal woman in a barn.  The man is married and his family is horrified.  many of the men on the island have affairs with seal women, hiding them where their Island wives can't see.  Recommended 15+


  1. I usually don't enjoy short story kind of books either, but you totally convinced me to read this book! Great review! And what a lovely cover

  2. Jenny @ Supernatural SnarkSeptember 17, 2012 at 7:52 AM

    Don't you just love when a book surprises you with how good it is? It's so much fun to go in with no expectations and then just be completely wowed:) I love the sound of the characters and the fact that it's actually a series of short stories - very cool. Fabulous review Sierra!

  3. It's seriously one of the best feelings ever to be surprised with a good book! :D Thanks for the comment, Jenny - I hope you love this book like I did! :D

  4. Oh yay!! :D Soooo happy my review convinced you! Cuz seriously, this book needs to be read by as many people as possible! :D

  5. I hadn't realized these were short stories! When I first heard about this book I instantly wanted to read it! :) So glad to hear it's as amazing as I had hoped!

  6. I only heard about this one a few days ago and man, I am so excited about it. And now it seems like it might just be worthy of that amazing cover. This sounds so interesting and unique and that is huge for me because para's of the sea usually don't do it for me. Thanks so much for the review!

  7. Please read it soon and let me know what you think! :D

  8. Oh I'm so glad you're interested and will read this! Yah, I haven't found too many sea novels that work for me, but OMG this one was flipping awesome! :D
    Thanks for the comment!