Hey guys! I don’t know if I should admit this, but I just spent ALL DAY in bed reading this book. Like actually. I only got out of bed to get more tea. I may not be proud, but it’s the truths. The Book of Pearl follows three characters in a twisting story that transcends time, place, and even worlds. Ilian is a second son, born to a mad king and a murderous older brother. Olia is a beautiful fairy, willing to give up her powers for her love. Our narrator falls into their story.
When Ian, Ilian’s murderous older brother, tasks a genie with killing his younger brother, the genie chooses instead to banish Ilian and Olia to another realm. They arrive in France in 1936, on the brink of the German invasion. This story had the musical flow of an old fashioned fairy-tale; giving the readers the sense that this story was something old and magical that was simply dropped in our world, much like its main characters. The storyline leaps back and forth between Ilian’s fairytale home and 1940’s Europe, allowing the reader to uncover the pieces of the puzzle bit by bit.
I really like this story. I had to pay close attention, as it is told in a rather mysterious manner. Rather than confusing, however, I felt this added to the ambiance of the story; a tale of two lovers lost from their homes and from each other. The narrator must try to piece the story together as we do, learning Olia and Ilian’s story as we go along.
The magic was truly present in the story, sweeping through the pages, aching with the love and sorrow of the characters. The people that Ilian and Olia meet in France give the story depth, illuminating the historical aspects of the story. Reminiscent of “A Year in Provence” and “Grimm’s Fairy Tales”, this story kept me turning the pages, desperate to find out the fates of the doomed lovers.
If you want an atmospheric, mysterious, fairy tale, I highly recommend The Book of Pearl. I truly enjoyed reading it, and it was the type of book that reminded me what masterful storytelling looks like.
Final rating- 4.5/5
Thanks for reading my review, and until next time, happy reading 🙂