Not bad, but I’m not finding myself staying up nights wondering, “what happens next,” either.
Our protagonist has been raised in near-isolation since early childhood by an uncle. Her therapist, with the aid of recovered-memory therapy, has convinced her that she was a victim of long-term sexual abuse at the hands of her father, which was why she was taken away from her family.
Then – a handsome young man appears. He tells her that he is a knight, who has been seeking her for years, and that all she has known is a lie. In actuality, she is the princess of the one true realm, kidnapped from her loving father and hidden in an artificial ‘made world.’
Running off and questing ensues. The princess is returned to her home, but not all is happy ever after, since she’s got major mental issues, and enemies of the realm are still at large. More running about and questing.
The whole thing with the therapy sounds a bit cheesy, but I actually thought it was handled well, and convincingly.
The weak point in the book is the characterization. Characters tend to be either good or evil, not very complex, and rather flat.
The most interesting aspect of the book, I thought, was the whole ‘made worlds’ concept. According to the theory, the ‘real world’ is stultifyingly tiny. It’s a physically small, homogenous, quite boring speck without much history – or anything. In contrast, the ‘made worlds’ are infinite, diverse, and encompass literally everything that could be imagined – universes and dimensions. They include places much like our own world. But they are – supposedly – not real. It’s a fascinating reversal of expectations – but it’s really quite an unpleasant and disturbing concept on a very deep level, and I suspect that it is why many people have reacted in a negative and emotional way to this book.
The concept also isn’t fully explored – instead, much of the plot is taken up with typical-fantasy sorcerous battles and such. I assume sequels are taking it somewhere… but I’m not sure I loved it enough to follow them.