Corinne Duyvis, Otherbound

This is a story of two worlds: Amara’s world, and Nolan’s.

In Nolan’s world, which is also our world, Nolan has epilepsy (as far as his doctors can tell), but none of the medicines seem to work. What they don’t know is that every time he blinks, he’s transported to another world. Amara’s world, where he sees life through Amara’s eyes.

Amara is a servant – pretty much a slave, and she is cursed with the gift of self-healing. Cursed, because she has to endure attacks meant to injure Cilla, her mistress, a princess on the run, who is being dogged by a powerful spell.

Nolan has been keeping a journal secretly for years, recording all of his experiences in Amara’s body. But he is an onlooker, unable to affect what happens in Amara’s world, until one day he learns how to move in, take control, and act on his own volition.

Now, from Amara’s point of view, he is an evil spirit, possessing her.

I thought I had seen every kind of portal fantasy that there is, but Corinne Duyvis has come up with a new one. The effect is very original – we have split perspectives, a constant shift back and forth between worlds, and an unusual dynamic between the paired protagonists. The fantasy world is a pretty original one in its own right, very well-thought-out, but what’s really striking is the fundamental premise once it fully emerges. People from our world are invading the fantasy world, seeking to take it over by possessing its most powerful magicians, and only Nolan and Amara can stop them, if only they can figure out how to work together.

This is a very strong work, dealing with themes that resonated strongly for me and may, I think, resonate just as strongly for a wide range of readers.

Note: I checked this book out from my local public library. I have no connection with the author or publisher.

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