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3.5 

March's End

By Daniel Polansky
March's End by Daniel Polansky digital book - Fable

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Publisher Description

March's End is a multi-generational portal fantasy of strange magics, epic warfare, and deadly intrigue, in which the personality conflicts and toxic struggles of the Harrow family are reflected in the fantasy world they've sworn to protect.

The Harrows are a typical suburban family who, since time immemorial, have borne a sacred and terrible charge. In the daylight they are teachers, doctors, bartenders and vagrants, but at night they are the rulers and protectors of the March, a fantastical secondary world populated with animate antiquated toys and sentient lichen, a panorama of the impossible where cities are carried on the backs of giant snails, and thunderstorms can be subdued with song.

But beneath this dreamlike exterior lie dark secrets, and for generation after generation the Harrows have defended the March from the perils that wait outside its borders – when they are not consumed in their own bitter internecine quarrels.

In the modern day the Harrow clan are composed of Sophia, the High Queen of the March, a brilliant, calculating matriarch, and her three children – noble Constance, visionary, rebellious Mary Ann, and clever, amoral Will. Moving back and forth between their youth, adolescence, and adulthood, we watch as this family fractures, then reconciles in the face of a conflict endangering not only the existence of the March, but of the ‘real world’ itself.

March's End is a book about growing up, in which the familial struggles of the Harrows are threaded through the mythic history of the fantastical land they protect. It is a story of failure and redemption, in which the power of love is tested against forces that seek to break it, and the necessity of each generation to recreate itself is asserted.

File Under: Fantasy [ Not Narnia | Secrets will out | Growing up | Love is all ]

3 Reviews

3.5
“The Harrows are a close knit family with great responsibility. They are rulers of a magical realm called The March, tasked with keeping the peace between mystical tribes made up of animals, toys, robots and all creatures of the imagination. March’s End flips between timelines. Present day the family is distant and divided. The mother is old and sickly, two of the children have long since moved away, and only one child remained to take care of her mother and the realm. But the realm is in trouble, the tribes are at war, and the wall between the human world and mythical world is crumbling, causing chaos. In the past timeline we get to see how the children discover The March realm, and the tragedies and drama that end up tearing them apart in present day. But it’s time for the children to return home and order to be restored. This book was extremely unique, odd and chaotic. Think Narnia for adults with a lot more weirdness. The language had a timeless feel, and there was a stark contrast between the human world and The March realm that makes the reader long for something magical in their ordinary everyday life. This book lightly covered themes of mental health, grief, loss and family ties. This book is definitely unlike anything ive ever read, if you’d like an interesting fantastical read this may be for you! Thank you @angryrobotbooks for a copy of this book!”
“Usually I can tell right away how much I will or won't enjoy a book, but March's End managed to surprise me. It's got dark Narnia vibes, but if all the Pevensies were total assholes. We've got battle-hardened veteran stuffed animals, and jack-in-the-boxes carrying out terrorist attacks at the behest of an Orwellian dictator. The protagonists are unlikeable, but not without reason - they demonstrate how the wounds received in childhood can shape one's entire life. This is all right up my alley, and I enjoyed reading every minute of it. It definitely won't be for everyone. Polansky's prose is beautiful, but skirts along the edge of being overblown at times - for me this worked well with the whimsical and fantastical nature of the story, but others may not enjoy it so much. There are several characters and plot devices that aren't really explained in a satisfying way, and the ending is confusing and feels a little rushed. I think it could have benefited from being a little longer and having some more time spent on these aspects. I found these things pretty easy to overlook, and I enjoyed March's End much more than I expected to. I'll definitely be checking out some of Polansky's other books. Thanks to Angry Robot and NetGalley for providing me with a proof copy of this book to read in exchange for an honest review.”
“Thank you to Angry Robot for this opportunity to rate and review this arc which is available for purchase May 9,2023 This is a fantastical world building sci-fi/fantasy novel about a human family who rules The March, a secondary world populated with other beings. The pacing of the novel is steady. The characters are enjoyable. Mary Ann is my favorite. You see a family fracture then reconcile. Fight for the March as well as the human world. You watch three children grow up and learn exactly what the March is and their roles in it. Their mother struggle under the weight of it. It is a very human story with fantastical bits. Reminds me a wee bit of Neil Gaiman”

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