Saturday 17 July 2021

Any Way the Wind Blows

Any Way the Wind Blows, Simon Snow Trilogy by Rainbow Rowell (Pan Macmillan) ISBN 9781529039924 RRP $17.99

Reviewed by Claire Stuckey

Following on the story of our team of young adventures now back in the United Kingdom we find Simon and Baz continuing their rocky relationship. Simon is struggling with his wings while Baz still privately seeks out those animals that he requires to exist -- then shares the count with us. Their relationship is marred by further family issues as Baz finds his father struggling with step siblings in the wake of Daphne’s disappearance. Following a trail of missing people, they find themselves aligned with Lady Ruth who provides them with more clues and loads of cake!

Penelope in the meanwhile has returned with Shepard, using magic to provide him with the necessary travel documents and flights. Hoping to rescue him from the demon contract tattooed across his body, she secures this “normal” at her flat away from her parents.

 Agatha has been roped in to assist at her father’s magical medical practice where she meets Niamh. After some time, Niamh reveals that they were in fact at Watford together. But Niamh has another side; she returns regularly to Watford to herd the goats back to satisfy an ancient myth. Agatha returns with her regularly and their relationship develops.

As the true nature of the cult status of Smith Richard-Smith is revealed, the boys investigate further. Hoping to return Pippa’s voice, Baz discovers that both Jamie, Lady Ruth’s son, and Pippa, are hostages. Pippa reveals the real intentions of Smith, and the group returns to Watford once more.

This is the conclusion to the trilogy, a book about defining your relationship. Relationships are difficult in a world shared by vampires, dragons, magical people and “normals”. The tile relates to the famous Queen song. Does it really matter who you are? The epilogue provides closure for one character, but I think that others may return in a different story. There are lots of narrators in this title.

Almost every other character who appears joins in which makes the flow difficult to read in places and does not always add to the plot. The long and tortuous relationship between Baz and Simon is overdrawn in scenes that are speech heavy. Although the main plot is readable and provides the bones of a good story the changes between characters and constant reflection made this novel much longer than it needed to be. This does make it easier to pick up and put down, perhaps a holiday read? I think fans of this author’s popular stand-alone novels might enjoy this.

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