Review: The Word Changers

One day, seeking a refuge away from home, Posy went to the library. She ended up in a book.

Not, you know, in the metaphorical sense of reading a book, or even in the literal sense of having fallen asleep in an open book. She was inside the book: Within the story, surrounded by characters, and expected to fulfill her own assigned role in the Plot.

And so the adventures begin.

The Word Changers is Ashlee Willis’ debut novel. A YA fantasy, with a strong element of romance, it is based on a fresh and original idea. Characters who are, even in their own world, characters in a book, and conscious of it, and behaving accordingly; the Author who wrote all; the Plot that must be replayed; the waiting for a reader – all makes for a fun and intriguing premise. I felt it had the mark of a book-lover.

I enjoyed Ashlee’s use of such fantasy creatures as mermaids and ipotanes. The world of her novel – especially the Glooming and all its travails and deceits – was effectively imagined and written. The characters, too, were vivid – the king, the queen, Falak, Kyran. Posy’s own reactions, struggles, and joys felt real to her circumstances.

There is an allegorical aspect to this book, with the Author of the story clearly corresponding to God. A theme of choices and free will emerges easily from this, and there are moments when characters try to grasp the whole meaning and purpose of what happens.

The romance angle was strong for a fifteen-year-old character – many parents would be nervous to have their fifteen-year-old in a relationship that serious. But I suppose Posy was old enough for it.

The Word Changers is a fresh, lively fantasy, well-written and memorable. Recommended.


And here, readers, are your links:

Ashlee Willis’ blog

Ashlee Willis on Facebook, Twitter, and Goodreads

The Word Changers on Amazon and Barnes and Noble


I received a review copy of this book from the publisher.