Title: The Spark (A Romance in Four Acts)
Author: Sean Williams
Series: The Change Companion
In: Legends of Australian Fantasy (Jack Dann & Jonathan Strahan)
Rating Out of 5: 5 (I will read this again and again and again)
My Bookshelves: Australian authors, Easy reading, Fantasy
Publisher: Harper Collins Australia
5th sentence, 74th page: The house-boy rushed into the room with a glass of water, which she accepted with gratitude and sipped as the fit subsided.
‘The Spark’ sits midway along the timeline of the ten linked fantasy novels in the Change series – the Books of the Change, the Books of the Cataclysm, and most recently the Broken Land. Inspired by the landscapes of Williams’ childhood rather than European or indigenous Australian mythologies, Sean had no conception when he set out on this journey that the places he revisited would become such an enduring obsession. The people who occupied them, also.
His young protagonists Ros and Adi were left somewhat hanging at the end of the Broken Land trilogy, as had Sal and Shilly years before them, because the conclusion to their story lay beyond the purview of a series for young readers. Williams always intended to return, to see their knot tied, but the deeper he dove into their story the less, perversely, it became about them, or even about the landscape that originally inspired their world.
Yet in a very real way, ‘The Spark’ is the capping stone on the entire series. All the characters Williams loved are present, in one form or another, and all the motifs too. Loss, the passage to adulthood, the nursing and healing of old wounds – for me, that’s always what these stories have been about.
And love, too, with which all can be endured.
I can’t get this story out of my head. And not in that irritating, it won’t leave and details are niggling away at me way. But that holy crap. That was amazing. I need to get more of these books! I want to know more about Adi and Ross. This story is epic. So now I just have to wait until I have some spare money to buy more of Sean Williams’ books…
I don’t often feel crazy about four act storylines, and the romance aspect of stories often feels tedious when I’m reading the tale. After all, boy meets girl, they fall in love, there is a problem, everything is resolved is the most standard storyline. And even the best stories do tend to read like this. But, it’s all about the journey. And for Adi and Ross, it is about the hunt for one another and true love. Reigniting the spark that has burnt between them for years.
Words that could describe the happy, warm fuzzy feeling that this novella left me with are pretty much impossible to come by. There is that feeling of happy contentment that you get when you finish a really good story. And The Spark not only left me with that, but also made the other stories I tried to read afterwards feel completely inadequate. I’m sure the feeling will eventually fade away though.