Illyria by Elizabeth Hand
Date Released: May 13, 2010 (first published 2007)
Published by: Viking Juvenile
Pages: Hardcover, 144 pages
Madeleine and Rogan are first cousins, best friends, twinned souls, each other's first love. Even within their large, disorderly family - all descendants of a famous actress - their intensity and passion for theater sets them apart. It makes them a little dangerous. When they are cast in their school's production of Twelfth Night, they are forced to face their separate talents and futures, and their future together.My Thoughts:
This stunning short novel, winner of the World Fantasy Award, is the perfect introduction to Elizabeth Hand's singular voice. Her many novels offer a window into what it means to create art, to experience it, to feel passionately about the world. Illyria throws her talent into high relief - it is magic on paper.
Synopsis via Goodreads
I sometimes think there are books that the more is said the more injustice is done. Illyria is one
of those books for me.
Illyria brings the term kissing-cousin to a new level though not based purely on love but a shared passion
only found within those who are true twinned souls.Both of our main characters, Maddy and Rogan, lead lives that were tragic in their own right and both seemed to understand each other in a way no other was able to or even attempted to.
I can't even explain how roped in I was by Illyria. It was a short read but one which made an impact and
took me to a time and place that wasn't my own. I fell in love just as Maddy did and I felt torn
when Rogan let life sweep him away and one-in-a-lifetime prospects came her way. I even cried when truths
about Rogan were revealed, then again at the end when the two came face to face without the scrutinity of
those around them and they could have closure to what happened so many years before.
Even with a beauty that is unique to it, this story is not for everyone as there are themes that will make some
individuals uncomfortable. If you can break through your comfort level you might be surprised with
the magic that is found within this book. Passion and pain this deep isn't easily felt through the pages of
a book but the words and their impact seeped into my veins and drew me in, completely.
Illyria is sinfully beautiful, well written, and flows smoothly.