Avid reader/reviewer and editor. I don't pull punches when I review, love it or hate it, you get what I think.
Once Upon a River combines folklore, magic, and mystery with a Gothic feel. The author is, without a doubt, talented and certainly has a gift for prose and vivid details. That said, I came away from this one with mixed feelings. The book is character driven, and there are quite a lot of characters to keep straight as well as their very detailed backstories. On top of that, the story isn't just one story, but several that are interwoven, and with so many plots and subplots, it's a lot to keep up with. The biggest drawback for me is the pacing, which is too slow for my tastes. The story is lengthy, maybe a bit too much so and I found myself wanting to skim during overly long descriptions. With so much going on, I do think this one could work well on the big screen where we could be shown rather than the pages and pages of descriptive details. In the end, there is a solid story here, but I feel like some of it gets lost in the minutia.