#SPFBO The Purple Haze (The Western Lands and All That Really Matters, #1) by Andrew Einspruch

purplehazeThe Purple Haze was one of the nine books that I rolled forward and read completely as part of the first stage of the SPFBO competition.  This is a YA read that is fun, quirky and quite charming.

As the story begins we meet Eloise, Eloise is heir to the throne of the Western Lands and All That Really Matters and she finds herself with the unusual predicament of being offered the hand in marriage of her childhood friend Jerome, the Chipmunk. Not wanting to upset Jerome’s mother, a powerful seer, but at the same time not really thinking a marriage between a chipmunk and a human is truly viable, Eloise comes up with an alternative suggestion, to appoint Jerome as her Champion (not to be confused with champignon!)  I would say that this opening sequence pretty much sets out the stall for the tone of the book which involves a good deal of fun and a crazy adventure.

The main thrust of the story revolves around the kidnapping of Eloise’s twin sister, the spare to the heir.  But for a few minutes and random chance Johanna would be the future heir, the rivalry between the two acts as a barrier between the two forming a friendship, that is until Johanna is taken by her uncle who has hatched a nefarious plot to marry his niece in a bid to have more power and Eloise realises she’s closer to her sister than she realised and steps up to rescue her.  From here there are plenty of  unusual capers that seem to lead down one false trail after another.

The title of the book refers to a strange purple haze that covers part of the country providing a division between the different realms.  Very little is known about the whys and wherefores of this strange and rather dense like fog – people who go into the haze never return to tell tales and in fact it is used in some places as a punishment for criminals!

I liked Eloise, she has a good personality and is a snowball character in that she seems to gather others to her plight ensuring that we have an entertaining group to read about along the way.  She’s also resourceful and doesn’t panic in an emergency.  She can be terribly proper but also kind and thoughtful.

In terms of criticisms.  I don’t have anything major.  I think the style of this might not work for everyone, it meanders and ducks and dithers somewhat and it involves a lot of humour and puns along the way.  I like the style and actually think it takes a lot of skill to write a novel of this nature but at the same time I recognise that this particular brand of crazy might not be for everyone.   I’m also not sure how viable it is to send off the heir to the throne in search of her sister – I mean effectively this means both children are now out there in the wilds with the potential to not return should all go awry. So, no heir and no spare!

Think Alice in Wonderland and the Wizard of Oz.  An unusual world with oddball characters, magic and all sorts of talking animals.  This is a lovely, charming read that ends on a note that makes me want to read more.  It’s a journey – not just a physical journey but a coming of age style story in which Eloise comes into her own.

My rating would be 3.5 of 5 stars.




13 Responses to “#SPFBO The Purple Haze (The Western Lands and All That Really Matters, #1) by Andrew Einspruch”

  1. sjhigbee

    This one sounds engagingly zany – thank you for a lovely detailed review, Lynn:)

  2. Mogsy @ BiblioSanctum

    Yeah, I can see the appeal of these kinds of books but that kind of oddball humor and punny jokes are not for everyone.

    • @lynnsbooks

      Yep agreed. I liked the quirky style – in fact I’d say this kind of put me in mind of The Girl Who Circumnavigated Fairyland in it’s unusual style.
      Lynn 😀

  3. maxinesobsessions

    “snowball character” What a perfect term.

    I have the sampler for this. yet haven’t given it a try yet. It sound like a lot of fun.

    • @lynnsbooks

      It was fun, I guess it puts me a little in mind of The Girl Who Circumnavigated Fairyland = it has a similar quirky/oddball feel.
      Lynn 😀

      • maxinesobsessions

        Ooh I haven’t read that one either. I’ll have to give them both a go.

  4. waytoofantasy

    Sounds like an interesting read, glad you enjoyed it!

    • @lynnsbooks

      It’s very quirky, unusual and a bit eccentric and I really enjoyed it – It was what I expected from the opening chapters and it made me smile when reading.
      Lynn 😀

  5. maddalena@spaceandsorcery

    It’s indeed a strange choice to sent the heir to the throne on a quest to rescue her sister and spare heir, but on the other hand in Star Trek the captain and the first officer often went together on dangerous away missions, so there must be a trend there… 😀 😀

    • @lynnsbooks

      Yep a trend set by Star Trek – who wouldn’t want to follow in those footsteps.
      Lynn 😀

  6. jessicabookworm

    Lynn, with its purple title and cover, I was already drawn to this and I was really willing you to like it. Now you’ve mentioned talking animals though, I am completely sold! 😀

    • @lynnsbooks

      Haha – it’s a good start to series – light and fun, a bit silly in parts, kind of reminds me of Cat Valente (The Girl Who Circumnavigated Fairyland.
      Lynn 😀

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