Everyone had this kind of book as a child - a book that served as a portal to another realm, to a better world; or, for young souls who had a happy ch
Everyone had this kind of book as a child – a book that served as a portal to another realm, to a better world; or, for young souls who had a happy childhood like mine, it was one of the first moments of privacy: when no one could see you, you opened the cherished page and waited for the picture to become multi-dimensional, inviting, real.
I rarely get a chance to revive this feeling; and this time, it came from an unexpected place: an Episode story called “Everly After” by Anya R. The first impression given by the stunning artwork used in covers and custom backgrounds gets deeper as the story unfolds. Beginning as a story of a modern day schoolgirl, “Everly After” very soon turns to a magic tale woven from Celtic myths and legends, all-time intrigues and everyday life challenges.
As Everly, the main character, continues her journey through breathtakingly gorgeous landscapes of an unknown realm, guided by a kind and handsome yet mysterious Hunter that the readers themselves immediately start to trust, we get to know more about this world, the laws governing it, the magical creatures and races inhabiting it. Speaking of which, the story is impressively well-thought, and even if we never get to know all the details about the realm discovered by Everly, we can be sure that the author has already outlined every small thing and every cornerstone about it from the beginning of its local eternity.
The Celtic spirit also appears in the names – do you often see an Episode character called Laoghaire, Ciar, or Saoirse? – and in the language enriched with ancient and dialectal words. Anticipating the probable misunderstanding, the author has shown her care for us again: every chapter is preceded by a short list of words that might be unknown to the reader.
One could endlessly praise the visual appeal of the story, its plot and the depth of cultural references. But what I like most about “Everly After” is the unbelievable feeling of fresh air and magic spread all around, and the silent promise that there always is a world where we all can be heard, more wanted, more noticed, loved for what we are, and certainly never forgotten.