Review by Crisetta MacLeod
I caught up with Voyager’s new kid on the block at Aussiecon4 in Melbourne. She told me her background was in animation. She worked on Lord of the Rings, which is what took her to New Zealand, where she has lived for ten years after travelling the world ceaselessly. Her family is Iranian, Jewish and English, and her husband is French. They have a cute little four-year-old daughter who was wearing very covetworthy pink boots. Her husband designed the evocative cover, showing a quaint flying machine in the tree canopy.
Tymon’s story is based in Mary’s tree world–the canopy of the tree is as large as the Himalayan mountain range. We talked about Avatar, and I told her about Kaaron Warren’s Walking the Tree, but Mary Victoria’s tree world was originally based on Iggdrasyl, the Norse legendary tree which encompasses the world. Tymon the protagonist is a rebellious orphan, raised in a Seminary. (Mary doesn’t apologise for her use of familiar tropes!) On completing his studies he is sent to a distant part of the canopy, as assistant to a dissolute missionary. It is there that he meets with the people who have been used as cheap labour by his original masters.
One of them is ritually sacrificed annually to the tree by being thrown off into the swirling cloud-filled depths below. After getting to know the locals, Tymon becomes disaffected from his origins, and joins forces with the oppressed peoples. To tell more is to spoil the story!
Mary scrapped the first version of her book, and then rewrote it entirely from scratch. Her second volume is due out in February, so we don’t have to wait long to find out what happens next.
This review first appeared in the Aurealis Magazine subscriber newsletter.