“He opens his eyes, and they’re pools of grey and black and pain. I can’t stand it.” Rainbow Rowell, Carry On
Rainbow Rowell dipped her toes into the realm of magic and forbidden love with her novel Carry On. Carry On twists the conventional chosen one story with the chosen one being the worst chosen one ever be chosen. Rainbow Rowell is a New York Times BestSeller and Good Reads Author of young adult, fantasy, science fiction, romance and contemporary novels and comics. She entered the scene in 2011 with her fictional contemporary romance novel Attachments. She has written six books, two short stories, and two comics. Carry On is part of a thrillogy called The Simon Snow Series that currently consists of Carry On and Wayward Son with the third book set to be released sometime in the coming years.
The book is set in 2015 England, one that contains the school of magic, Watford. Most of the book stays within the confines of the school grounds and other places in England. Magic and magical creatures have been a part of the world for as long as anyone has known except only certain people can harness and control the magic in and around them.
These people are called magicians or speakers. They normally have a sort of tap on how much magic they can use and rely on non-speakers for their spells since they are common and well used phrases or songs.
Carry On follows a group of magical teenagers on their adventures in their last year at Watford School of Magic. One teenager is Simon Snow, the chosen one of the magical world who holds immense amounts of magic that he has no idea how to use. His goal is to defeat the Insidious Humdrum that takes the form of him as a kid. Simon also has a rocky relationship with his vampire roommate Baz that slowly starts to grow after they join each other in the common interest in finding who killed Baz’s mom.
Carry On twists the traditional chosen one story to one more relatable for the readers. Making the chosen one a uncertain confused teenager who only knows he was prophesied for centuries to defeat a great evil that has taken on his face. Following along with simon through his hero’s journey was surprisingly natural, unlike other chosen one stories where they seem to be able to do anything and have anything, simon has almost nothing.
Simon only has a few friends, no parents, and a mentor that barely acknowledges him unless it’s to do with the humdrum, his own roommate doesn’t even seem to care for him. He grows up in care homes and can barely use magic and opts for a sword instead, unlike all his magical peers who can perform simple spells to extremely complex ones.
Rowell wrote a wonderful chosen one story that flows naturally and keeps you enthralled in the story to find out what is going to happen next and who will end up with who.
Photo from rainbowrowell.com