I discovered Carrie Vaughn’s writing in Unfettered, a recent fantasy anthology edited by Shawn Speakman, and I really wanted to read more of her work, so I bought this book. Discord’s Apple was a very interesting (and good!) book, and I want to read even more of Vaughn’s work now, despite not being the biggest fan of urban fantasy.
Evie Walker is a comic book writer in a near future Earth that’s heading straight towards an apocalypse. She has just received news that her father has cancer and heads back to her hometown in the middle of nowhere, where she finds out that there is much more to her family than she realises. Their storeroom contains, among other things, the Golden Fleece and Cinderella’s glass slippers – and Evie is the storeroom’s new guardian.
Discord’s Apple is a pretty slim book, but it covers an epic scale of time and perspectives. It’s mainly told from three points of view – Evie’s, her ancestors’ and a certain ancient Achaean’s, spanning the travels of Odysseus to the future and managing to incorporate every magical legend in between. And it never feels overwhelming – in fact, it’s a pretty compelling tale.
Evie is a pretty generic protagonist in the beginning, but grows tremendously in a short time. I loved the use of her comic book story to illustrate her thought process, it worked very well. The rest of the characters are pretty great too, from the villains to the figures of mythology to the Hopes Fort residents.
I don’t want to spoil the ending, but I’ll just say this: I expected it to be a lot more predictable/formulaic (which I would’ve been fine with), but the way everything was resolved made a good book into a great book. I’m looking forward to reading more of Vaughn’s work!
Discord’s Apple by Carrie Vaughn
Tor Books, 2010 | Buy the book