The first of four "Before the Fairytale" stories, "The Girl With No Name" is told in a deceptively simple storybook style with the flavor of an original Grimm's fable, but don't expect your typical once upon a time scenario. This is a coming of age tale humorously interwoven with social commentary.
*May Contain Spoilers*
Iscah gives her fairy tale an enchanting beginning with her novel, The Girl With No Name. A young girl, a shape-shifter, begins her adventure by leaving behind a village that never accepted her to find her father. When she finds him as nothing more than a stone in a cemetery, she decides to continue on in search of knowledge. She craves the knowledge of the magic she possesses and soon decides to become the greatest sorceress the world has ever known.
The girl, who never chooses nor discovers her name (at least in this book), is rambunctious, brave, meddlesome, and inherently good. She passes out magical medicines and potions to help other people. She cures a blind man, giving him the ability to see once again, creating a reputation that perfectly precedes her. The fact that this main character has no name gives her a universally open connection to readers. She could be anyone, anything, which allows readers to form an immediate, magical bond.
The plot of this book is to set up the fairy tale that will undoubtedly follow. Readers share the girl's journey to find her father, they watch her fall in love, help the people she comes into contact with, and essentially grow into herself. With no parental guardianship, no one there to guide her, the girl must rely on herself and the abilities that she was born with to make her way in the world. Readers will revel in her slight mistakes, her ever-growing quick wit, and the extraordinary journey she begins.
Rating: 3/5 Cups