|Submitted by LA Solinas |
(Jun 22, 2001)
Meredith Ann Pierce has made a name for herself in unique and atmospheric fantasies such as "The Woman Who Loved Reindeer" and "Darkangel" trilogy. Her latest book, "Treasure at the Heart of the Tanglewood" is an amazing fantasy with a truly amazing lead character. The main character is Brown Hannah, a young woman with plant buds woven in her hair, and without the memory of how she came to the Tanglewood. She lives with an assortment of odd animals - and a strange wizard who tells her not to leave the forest. Supposedly within the Tanglewood forest is a great treasure guarded by the Boar. When one knight survives an encounter with the Boar, Hannah nurses him back to health - and enjoys his company, as she has never truly had a companion before. When the wizard takes an awful revenge on the unsuspecting knight, Hannah rebels and flees to turn the knight back into his human form. She transforms along the way into Green Hannah, then Golden Hannah. When she returns to the Tanglewood she is now Russet Hannah, her role shifting as the seasons change into autumn. Meredith Ann Pierce outdoes herself in this sedate tale of nature and magic. Though "Woman Who Loved Reindeer" did not entrance me as much as the Darkangel trilogy, this one captivated me from the first page. Hannah herself is a great character. She manages to encompass traits such as naivete and innocence, while still being brave and intelligent. Her transformation of knowledge as she goes through her various incarnations is believable, as are her interactions with such people as the knight and wizard. As I read this story, I also read the story of the Scottish goddess Beira, who also transformed with the passing seasons. The writing style is lyrical and captivating, skillfully evoking the images that Pierce clearly wanted to show. Descriptions of the Tanglewood are especially beautiful, as Ms. Pierce always does an excellent job with nature descriptions. A thoroughly enjoyable fantasy!