Get ready for a wild, fantastical ride full of magic, mystery, and mayhem with Kermes Vermilio by Yellow Streamers. Two millennia ago, a young girl born out of darkness stumbled upon a book and gained the ability to bend reality to her own will. Named Medusa, she was eventually decried as a witch and persecuted. In the 20th century, the Prior family suffered from an unexplainable curse as their descendants always inadvertently ran into misfortune. When a series of murders around the Vermilion River in the early 90s created waves, Detectives Savannah Handorf and Fred Bass investigated the case, leading them to the Prior family. Now in the present, seventeen-year-old Cassie and her lover Hayden Prior are the only ones capable of standing up against a resurgent Medusa and stopping her from annihilating everything in her path.
Plot/Idea: This ambitious, millennia-spanning tale is experimental in approach and involves numerous shifts in era and character. Ultimately, Cassie and Hayden Prior must unite to defeat the bad luck and misfortune that has doomed their families for centuries. Readers who enjoy ample backstory and family sagas will find much to appreciate.
Prose: The descriptive, sometimes dense prose shifts in point of view and style, offering readers a kaleidoscopic view of this multigenerational saga.
Originality: The narrative proceeds largely chronologically but shifts in style, from saga to vignette. The effect is a composite narrative that invites readers to make thematic connections across time and character.
Character Development/Execution: Characterization happens largely through familial connections and plotting. Present-day characters like Cassie, who are introduced later in the story, must live the consequences of their ancestors’ choices.
Blurb: An epic fantasy that transports readers across two millennia to the present day, where 17-year-old Cassie Finch teams up with loner Hayden Prior to face the curse that connects their families.
Date Submitted: June 29, 2022