Morrighan by Mary Pearson is my Throwback Thursday choice this week. An audiobook narrated by Julia Whelan and MacLeod Andrews, two of my favourites, and released in 2016.
Although this is a prequel it can be read as a standalone novella. I haven’t yet read any of the Remnant Chronicles so I’m not sure of the connection to the series. From what I can gather the characters in this don’t feature in the main storyline and are, perhaps, ancestors.
Morrighan and her family are Remnants who survive in a post apocalyptic world. They are nomads, constantly on the move in search of food and safety. Morrighan was eight years old when she first saw young Jafir de Aldrid. It was also the first time Morrighan had been by herself and so close to one of the Scavenger clan who steal whatever, and from whoever, they can. As she heard more of the Scavengers approach on horseback she feared for her life. Inexplicably, Jafir didn’t give her away and the hunting party left, unaware of her presence.
Over the next few years Morrighan and Jafir encounter one another several times and form a friendship of sorts unbeknownst to either of their tribes. Life is harsh and uncertain, initially all Morrighan and Jafir have in common is hunger. As the years pass things begin to become clearer to Morrighan as she develops the ‘knowing’ that is specific to her people, and even though her life and Jafir’s are so very different they must decide if their future is worth fighting for.
“Stories must begin somewhere, Jafir,” I said gently. “Maybe they can begin with you?”
I enjoyed the story very much, but for me it could have been fleshed out quite a bit. There was an awful lot going on giving so much potential for a full length, or even just slightly longer, book. I could feel that way because of lack of knowledge about the rest of the story, of course, and it may not need expanding in view of that. The writing is expressive and vivid, with alternating points of view from Morrighan and Jafir. The world building and strong, believable characterisations are extremely well done.
The ending was a bit of a let down though – it seemed a little too neatly and quickly wrapped up. One aspect of the storyline was resolved too easily with minimum fuss after what was an ongoing issue in the narrative. But it has given me the incentive to try the first book of the series.
On its heels came a whispered name that was always just beyond my reach, not yet mine to hear, but I knew that one day my children’s children or the ones who came after would hear it.
One day hope would have a name.
The narration was excellent. Julia Whelan and MacLeod Andrews can always be relied upon to give a great performance and bring any story to life.
About the Book
Before borders were drawn, before treaties were signed, before wars were waged anew, before the great kingdoms of the Remnant were even born and the world of old was only a hazy slate of memory told in story and legend, a girl and her family fought to survive.
And that girl’s name was Morrighan.
In this prequel novella to the Remnant Chronicles, a girl and a boy from enemy camps meet, fall in love–and set history in motion.