Tag Archives: Ellie

Review of Ellie (2022) Goodreads 19/09/ 2022

I have a friend who loves reading, and reads widely. Over the years he has designated certain authors as ‘palate cleansers’. He returns to these books when he needs a dose of something clean, fresh and better. Seymour Hamilton is one of those authors for me. I have just finished Ellie, the latest of several books set in the world of Hamilton’s Astreya trilogy.

Full disclosure, I first met Seymour Hamilton over 30 years ago, when I was a graduate student in Ottawa. I learned that past the charming, whimsical and well spoken presentation is a sharp and educated mind. The books reflect the man. He writes fantasy, but on another level his stories speak of people dealing with the forces of nature, marine and human. The protagonists invariably bring a level of decency and intelligence to their tasks.

Ellie, like the Astreya books and River of Stones, is a deceptively straightforward fantasy. It is an adventure story, based in a recognizable world, set in a time simply called After. Many of the characters are skilled sailors. Hamilton knows sailing, and his writing really shines here. You may happily read it only at that level, but take your time with this and all of Hamilton’s books to feel the undercurrents. He writes about what it takes for a community to form and operate successfully. There is a current in his books of the need for thoughtfulness and decency in human affairs. Ellie should be read for all these levels. I came away refreshed, ready again for the real world.

Lorraine McFadden PhD ABPP/CN (ret’d) author of Mind Phases (2022)