Review – Worlds of Ink and Shadow by Lena Coakley


Worlds of Ink and Shadow

By Lena Coakley

SummaryCharlotte, Branwell, Emily, and Anne. The Brontë siblings have always been inseparable. After all, nothing can bond four siblings quite like life in an isolated parsonage out on the moors. Their vivid imaginations lend them escape from their strict upbringing, actually transporting them into their created worlds: the glittering Verdopolis and the romantic and melancholy Gondal. But at what price? As Branwell begins to slip into madness and the sisters feel their real lives slipping away, they must weigh the cost of their powerful imaginations, even as their characters—the brooding Rogue and dashing Duke of Zamorna—refuse to let them go.

Gorgeously written and based on the Brontës’ juvenilia, Worlds of Ink & Shadow brings to life one of history’s most celebrated literary families.

Source: I received a hardcover in an Owlcrate.

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Worlds of Ink and Shadow was a fictional story involving the Bronte siblings and the worlds they created before some of them became published authors. In the book, their fictional world of Verdopolis was a place they could visit through a doorway of sorts which allowed them to be a part of their world. I received the book in an Owlcrate box, but I’ve left it sitting on my shelf for awhile. I’m not a huge fan of the Bronte sisters and their literary works, so I was afraid that the story wouldn’t interest me.

Worlds of Ink and Shadow is great for fans of the Bronte sisters and those unfamiliar with them. While the story does involve the siblings and the actual works of fiction they created and historical fact, aside from those details, the story was just an interesting blend of fact and fiction and the author took liberties with the characters and created a great world.  

I can see why Owlcrate chose the book. It was unique and interesting. It was a bit like the Inkheart novels and Narnia in a way because the siblings jumped into a fictional world. I think I would have appreciated the book more if I was more educated about the Bronte sisters and if I enjoyed Jane Eyre a little more. I could see the way that Roque related to Heathcliff from Wuthering Heights, but a lot of the Jane Eyre connections were kind of lost on me. As far as the idea of having a fictional world, being able to step into it, and having to pay a price to be there, I thought it was an awesome idea but the execution wasn’t as interesting as I felt it could’ve been. I think other books do it better and perhaps the biggest reason for that is that those books weren’t worried about tying history in with a fictional plot.

I recommend Worlds of Ink and Shadow, but it wasn’t as amazing as I’d hoped. It is a great book and if you have it on your shelf already, dive in, because it’s short and a standalone, and quite fun. I just don’t necessarily recommend seeking it out on purpose.

Star 3


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