Book Review: A Knight on the Old North Shore by Mary Pursselly

Stormy shores, mysterious travelers, moonlit dragon rides, flickering portals, unexpected destinies...

Join author Mary Ruth Pursselley on a journey of imagination that not only features stories told in modern style, but also resurrects the neglected tradition of poem-form storytelling. And whether your taste runs to elves and dragons, the fragile border between dream and reality, or the simple thrill of an uncharted journey, A Knight on the Old North Shore offers something to satisfy your fantasy craving and ignite your imagination.

The first poem in this book was entitled, A Knight on the Old North Shore. I must say I was astounded. I had never read this style before and was expecting far less than I got. (No offense Mary, just didn't realize the power in poems of this sort.) Though mere 15-16 stanza's I was transported to a different world. In a note at the beginning the book Ms. Pursselley requested that the reader take the time to allow the entirety of the richness of the story to sink in. Something by no means easy for me as I am accustomed to reading fast. (I get so involved in books I can't wait to see what's going to happen and attempt to get there as soon as possible.) But I did my best to read slowly. It was well worth the time. Though a simple poem I could see many things unfolding before my eyes. I knew who the man-though never described-was. I knew what type of person he was. The richness of his life was there for all to see though it was never openly discussed. The woman was of a kind, gentle soul. You could tell simply by her actions. There was a sort of richness in this poem I have never experienced before. I didn't know that 406 words could show the story of someones life. In these amazing 406 words you feel as though you were old friends with two people who don't even exist! I truly saw the beautiful night told in the poem as though it was happening before my eyes. I can say one thing about the poem. It was truly exquisite.

The second story entitled Shift was fascinating. It was one of those stories that is brief but profound yet at the same time you don't know why it was profound. I may figure it out after thinking on it a while longer but for now I have left it nameless and unexplained. The style of writing was vague yet familiar. It drew you into it's clutches. It is one of those types of stories where reality is held loosely. And the end? Well the end is leaves you with no explanation. It is but a 1 1/4 of a page but it speaks of much more. The questions you were left off with were answered in unspoken words. You just know and understand all that as happened in the past. I can say no more.

Honestly I did not like the third installment  Man of the Road very much at all. It lacked the richness and intrigue of the others and was rather boring. It was sort of like one of those poems you had to read for school but didn't like and so you attempted to get it over with as soon as possible.

The fourth story was very nice, though I liked the thrill and richness of the first to better. This one definitely deserves 4 stars!  I wish in fact that the fourth story Butterfly Song had been a full length book. Although it made a good short story as well. I was curious to know more about the Callers and the Gifted. It was written with skill and the concept of the Gifted and Callers was a good one.

Overall there were some wonderful things to read in this book and I enjoyed it immensely. I would have liked it if there were a few more stories/poems in this book as there are only 4 and rather short ones at that.I would have to rate it at a solid 4 stars. I wish it could be more but the 3rd installment did not measure up to the others. Still, beautifully done.

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