Bryony Pearce’s Windrunner’s Daughter was amazing.
That is, it was amazing right up until the final two chapters. You know that feeling you get when you finally, after months of reading mediocre novels with just okay plots and less than ideal characters, find a book that feeds your thirst for a story that makes you feel something? That’s what Windrunner’s Daughter did for me.
I was engrossed, utterly enmeshed into the tale of a young girl called Wren who breaks the sacred laws set down by her people that forbid women from being a Runner–the messengers and traders of the various colonies living on Mars after the earth has died–in order to save her mother who is dying of a plague. From the strength of Wren’s character, to the fascinating personality of the bully turned friend who follows her in her journey, I simply could not get enough.
The world Pearce builds in her novel is as much enticing as it is developed. I really felt a connection to the characters, as if I could feel myself understanding what it would be like to live in such a place. I loved the villains found not only in dangerous creatures, but also in illness and people driven by fear. Up until the final two chapters, my only disappointment was that I felt I did not know the brothers well enough to have a strong emotional connection to them and had it been the only complaint, I would have easily rated Windrunner’s Daughter as a must read.
Unfortunately, for me, the ending fell flat. Not only did it feel rushed, but it felt out of character. The father figure we do not meet until the end was developed in absence and truly did make a wonderfully grand entrance into the plot, the father-daughter moment that followed felt forced. The character of Raw–whom I found myself adoring more and more as I progressed–fell apart in the final pages. Admittedly, I should have seen this coming as there were various instances earlier on that alluded to inconsistencies in his personality and it all came down to an extremely misplaced confidence that simply didn’t make sense for him to have.
All in all, I loved this book. But it needs a rewritten ending with some minor changes to character interactions that felt incredibly out of character. I wouldn’t necessarily call for a different ending, but rather one that was less rushed and changed the dialogue in ensuring that the characters’ feelings match the personalities that were shown throughout the rest of the novel. Consistency is pretty key.
I was provided with a free copy of this book via NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.