Why did I love this book?
Reading this book in the summer between high school and college led my personal writing journey down a significant detour from which I’ve never really returned. It was the first time I encountered a world in which fantasy elements both coexisted with and had enormous impact on familiar places and cultures. Most discussions of this book focus on the romantic and sexual aspects of the plot lines, but none of that would be possible without the tremendous amount of worldbuilding Carey based on an existing historical and religious framework. I’m not sure this would remain one of my favorite books more than 20 years later if Carey had told the same story in a wholly imagined fantasy setting.