A Swirl of Purple is a portal fantasy. Three Young children from a small town in Australia step through a magical portal into another world, in search of their brothers, who have been taken by a dark creature.
First off, I have to celebrate how cool it is to have Australia used as the anchor point in our world. Fun as it is to read about Americans and British people travelling to other worlds, it is extra special to see familiar Aussies entering into this kind of adventure.
The role of the children in this story was quite different than in the typical portal fantasy. Rather than the conquering heroes, they spent their time apprenticing, learning and growing. In that regard, they are not so much the heroes of the story. This book felt more like an origin story, for the heroes they will soon become.
Much of the internal conflict in this book took for form of misunderstandings between children and adults. The character points of view were very well written, which resulting in my identifying strongly with the frustrations felt by both parties.
A Swirl of Purple sets up some interesting possibilities, and raises some intriguing questions. Questions not often addressed in secondary world or portal fantasies, such as why do familiar animals like horses exist in the ‘other’ world.
The book delves into multiple societies, keeping you guessing who are the ‘good guys’, and wondering if perhaps there are no ‘good’ and ‘bad’ guys, but rather different groups who simply have opposing goals, as if often the case in real life.
This book opens up a series with a lot of potential. I look forward to seeing where things go from here.
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