The Boy From Ilysies by Pearl North
The Boy From IlysiesRedemption has come. Now the people at the Libyrinth are all equals, learning to read, learning to understand what they read, and are now Libyrians. Po comes from a matriarchal society. A man’s existance there is to please women, father children, and raise them. Men are lower in the social order. Po has been raised to bow to any woman. It is difficult for him to accept that he is equal with his former princess or Haly, the main Libyrian, or any other woman in the compound. Yet he is trying, just as he is trying to learn kinesiology, his healing power from within.
Libyrinth is establishing a new, independent society. It is growing crops and skills to be self-substaining rather than relying on stores from the people around them. The Queen of Ilysies has reluctantly pulled out. Now she rules that no Ilysian can return to her/his native country. The former soldiers and Po, the lone male from Ilysies, had planned to stay at Libyrinth. Now they have no choice.
Po’s problems are cultural at the Libyrinth. He caters to women and fights with the men – as he was taught. After being blamed for a tragedy he didn’t commit, he is asked to join a party that is going on a trip to gain support for Libyrinth and to spread the knowledge of reading. They are also seeking a mythical flower or tool that can save Libyrinth from the Queen of Ilysies’ plots to bring them down. Po finds himself caught up in a new battle – one where he plays an important role. Can he overcome his own teachings and be the person Libyrinth needs?
The second book in Pearl North’s Libyrinth series, The Boy From Ilysies catches the reader back into that future world where reading is scarce and precious. Most of the world has risen from ruins that were brought about centuries earlier. Yet the different countries or lands are separate and have strict differences between them. It took the Redemption in the first book to bring the different cultures together. That only affected the ones around the Libyrinth, though. Many places still have their strict notions of reading, government, and classes of people.
North makes Po’s confusions quite believable. He is trying to overcome his training. The women around him from other cultures don’t understand him when he tries to accede to them. The men from the other cultures think he’s a wimp – which is why he fights them. In Ilysies his goal was to be chosen as a woman’s consort, to share her bed and family. Now that is still important to him as he tries to adjust. When a woman chooses him, he is elated. It ends badly. Despite that, Po still has years of cultural training to cast off – if he can. Because of that story line, there is a sexual component to this young adult novel. That is needed for Po to mature.
The Boy From Ilysies is an adventure. The group goes out to find the flower that can save their new colony. Their other goal is to teach people to read and understand for themselves. Instead they find resentment. They find outlaws. They find a town under siege. And they find a person who may be able to help them locate the flower. They have to avoid capture in order to save Libyrinth.
North’s The Boy From Ilysies is fast paced and thought provoking. Her world is fascinating. I recommend reading Libyrinth before The Boy From Ilysies or part of the build up is lost. I picked up my copy of Libyrinth and quickly scanned through it to refresh my memory before reading The Boy From Ilysies. Because I did, I got pulled back in and appreciated The Boy From Ilysies that much more.
Don’t let this series get lost in the abundance of young adult apocolyptic/dystopic novels available right now. The Boy From Ilysies and Libyrinth are worth the attention. I’m looking forward to reading the last book, The Book of the Night, soon.
Notice: Non-graphic violence, Suggestive dialogue or situations
Publisher provided for review