“a dark stoey. not a rel upbeat story but I wanted to keep reading to see what was going to happen. The town is dying and the people seem to also yet, their gosts remain.”see full review » see other reviews »
Didn’t Like It
“I really, really enjoyed this book...until the end. It is beautiful and magical but ultimately pointless. I'm sure there's some grand revelation to be had, you probably just have to be high to have it.”see full review » see other reviews »
“Started this book and didn't get far before I had to set it aside. Too dark for me. Starts with a homely older sister with a blind trusting younger sister who believes all the nasty stories her sister is telling her about the world, including how ugly the pretty blind sister is. Too bleak for me but it may be an okay book for others. ”nina d wrote this review Tuesday, November 12, 2013. ( reply | permalink ) Was this review helpful? Yes | No
“It was an ok read for me. A bit lengthy in spots and lots of characters to keep track of. The ending was a bit abrupt but the book did hild my interest.”Melissa R wrote this review Thursday, September 26, 2013. ( reply | permalink ) Was this review helpful? Yes | No
“a dark stoey. not a rel upbeat story but I wanted to keep reading to see what was going to happen. The town is dying and the people seem to also yet, their gosts remain. ”Becky H wrote this review Thursday, September 19, 2013. ( reply | permalink ) Was this review helpful? Yes | No
“Although I have not read any of Daniel Wallace's books, I am a big fan of the movie Big Fish so when I got an email asking if I'd like to read The Kings and Queens of Roam I jumped at the chance. There's something about magical realism that just... speaks to me. It makes me feel tingly inside and sends me into this relaxed state of being when I'm reading and I love any chance I can put my hands on a book that will bring that about.
Read the rest of this review at The Lost Entwife on August 28, 2013.”
“I really, really enjoyed this book...until the end. It is beautiful and magical but ultimately pointless. I'm sure there's some grand revelation to be had, you probably just have to be high to have it. ”Abby Shannon wrote this review Wednesday, August 7, 2013. ( reply | permalink ) Was this review helpful? Yes | No
“This review first appeared on my blog: http://www.knittingandsundries.com/2013/07/772013-kings-and-queens-of-roam-by.html
Helen and Rachel are two orphaned sisters in a dying town founded by their grandfather. There are ghosts everywhere, but only two people can see them: Helen and Digby, the town bartender, short of stature but long on character.
Helen is notoriously ugly, and Rachel is absolutely stunning, but she is blind. Helen's jealousy has led her to make Rachel believe that SHE is the ugly one, and she spins imaginative tales meant to bind her sister to her - the town is surrounded by ravenous birds, a dangerous ravine, and various other dangers. She also always reminds Rachel that their parents died in a car accident because they were on a medical mission hoping to cure her blindness.
This is also the tale of Elijah McAllister, their grandfather, who stole a man named Ming Kai away from his homeland of China through trickery and deceit - all for the secret of making silk. Roam was founded on the silk industry, but Ming Kai, the reason for it all, never shared in the success.
Mr. Wallace does a fantastic job of spinning this tale of modern folklore - there are lumberjacks, huge, somehow mysterious, black dogs, dwarfs, giants, unrequited love, deceit, tragedy, ghosts who act the opposite of their living selves, and the ties that bind family and friends.
There are many characters, all stars in their own rights, and as Rachel makes a life-changing decision, the fate of Roam and its inhabitants may hang in the balance.
This is magical realism at its finest, and I found myself reading through it at a high-flying pace. I would definitely recommend it for ANY reader.
Ming Kai's first complete sentence was, "Please never untie me, for if you do I will kill you, and I don't want to become a man who takes another man's life."
"That's a long sentence," Elijah said. "Too long to follow." And he whacked him across the back of his head with a piece of wood.
Silk made Elijah a very rich man, and as rich men have always done, he built a house far too big for a man to live in. It was elegant, magnificent, absurd. It would have been absurd anywhere, but in Roam, an invented place in the middle of nowhere, it was gloriously, mythically, absurd. In addition to being huge - you had to look at it twice just to see it once - it was also recklessly beautiful, the largely uninhabitable manifestation of the mind of a madman lucky enough to find a thing through which he could channel his ambition.
He tried to smile. She couldn't see him try to smile, of course, and he realized that people smiled so that other people could see the smile, instead of just smiling for themselves. It had less to do with being happy than with showing someone else you were happy. He didn't have to do that with her. Things changed when you sat around a fire with a blind girl.
BLOGGERS: Have you reviewed this book? If so, please feel free to leave a link to your review in the comments section; I will also add your link to the body of my review.
Writing: 5 out of 5 stars
Plot: 5 out of 5 stars
Characters: 4.5 out of 5 stars
Reading Immersion: 5 out 5 stars
BOOK RATING: 4.8 out of 5 stars
Sensitive Reader: Some mild profanity
Book Club Recommendation: Yes; I think that this is the type of story that appeals to a lot of readers and would be a fun read to share and talk about. If you're looking for deep, deep discussions on heavy subjects, probably not.
“Helen and Rachel McCallister are sisters. They only have each other now that their parents are gone. For years Helen has been jealous of Rachel and her beauty. Due to Rachel’s blindness, she can not tell any different what Helen is telling her when she tells Rachel that she is ugly. Helen’s lies grow when she creates this world around Roam filled with flesh eating birds and other monsters. However Helen could never know what her story was actually doing to Rachel until Rachel makes an announcement that will change both of their lives.
I was curious about this book. I thought I would give it a chance. Wow, I am so glad that I did. I almost missed out on a great book. I found myself not reading this book fast enough. What with life getting in the way!
I can not imagine depending on someone like Helen. She was so bitter towards Rachel. However I am glad that as the story went on Helen did turn a new leaf and became a better person and one that I actually liked. Due to Helen’s meanness towards Rachel I instantly liked Rachel.
There are two stories happening in this book. There is the one involving Rachel and Helen and then there is the other one involving Elijah and his slave Ming Kai. This story was just as captivating. It was fascinating to get to learn how Roam was discovered and got to be the place it was. The Kings and Queens of Roam is a book not to be missed! It is filled with lots of wonderful characters and a magical place.