Mieradome – Kate O’Hegarty

Goodreads description: Mieradome pulls the reader into a unique fantasy world of faeries and technology, a different take on the Alice in Wonderland concept. The story revolves around a young girl named Amavia who believes she is a human girl, but slowly comes to find she is a faery in the world of Mieradome. Slowly who Amavia was began to unravel to show the truth; the truth that she just may be the evil they need to destroy. This is the first novel in a series, and gives a glimpse of what is to come for the main character Amavia.

Amavia is a 15 year old girl, living with her mother and step father in a very grand house. She finds herself drawn to the Grandmother Oak Tree in the garden. The tree turns out to be an opening into a new world, a faery world, where Amavia soon discovers she is actually a faery. The discovery leads to Amavia having to go back home and take The Light from her mother, who has died knowing that her daughter has ventured into such dangerous realms within the faery world.
 Amavia isn’t just any faery; she is the daughter of the Emperor and is the true heir to his kingdom. The news that she is alive causes problems for some people within the world of Mieradome especially those who would have been next in line to the throne as it were. Amavia finds herself in a situation that could be life threatening and needs to prove herself within Mieradome.
Mieradome was a bit of a slow read for me. As a 336 page book it wasn’t terribly long but it was an e-book which caused more problems than I expected and it was also a bit longwinded in places. I found myself having to go over bits that I had previously read just to ensure I had understood fully what was being said. It is definitely not a quick, easy read.
The storyline to Mieradome was amazing; the world was beautifully described and very well laid out. The descriptions of the world and its ‘people’ were exactly what you would expect for a book about a faery world. While it did remind me of Alice in Wonderland and Pan’s labyrinth as some reviews I’d checked out told me it would it also stood alone as a very special world. The characters were, in some cases, hard to relate to but in others they were great to get along with. The Captain for example was brilliantly funny, especially when you discover that his ship is called his “baby,” he’s the type of character that every book should have.
While the world created and the storyline of the book were fantastic, the characters proved a little more difficult for me. I was often thrown out by the author’s habit of telling the reader exactly what everyone was called, having been told the names of some leprechauns on one page towards the beginning and never seeing them again for example. I also thought that perhaps the story of Amavia herself wasn’t developed enough, I didn’t understand why she went into the world in the first place, this may have been my own fault if I missed something but I don’t think I would have been hanging around trees and following faeries into them at 15 unless I had good reason to. The beginning was very rocky for me, however once Amavia got into Mieradome for good, so did I.
 I think Mieradome was a brilliant story but undeveloped in places, and not brilliantly edited in others. I didn’t love it, it was hard to get into and the number of characters proved very confusing, however I wouldn’t say I hated it, it was a good read and I think it finished as a very good beginning to a series.  As a debut I believe that Kate O’Hegarty could build on this so well and with some tweaking she could have a fantastic series here.
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