The Wall, by Sarah Jane Singer

caitlin42's review

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A lyrical fantasy novel with a lovable cast of characters, perfect for fans of Naomi Novik.

gabriele_queerbookdom's review

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DRC directly provided by the author in exchange for an honest review.

Representation: bisexual white protagonist, Black secondary character, queer tertiary characters, tertiary characters of colour.

Content Warning: mentions of child death, attempted rape, grief, violence, death, misogyny, homophobia.

The Wall by Sarah Jane Singer is a splendidly captivating fantasy novel about self-discovery, freedom, family and love.

Julia has lived her whole life behind the unclimbable Wall her father built, but once he is called away because of his expertise as a navigator, she finally runs away to start a journey of introspection and new experiences, accompanied by her inseparable pet lion.

I really enjoyed reading The Wall as Singer crafted a world full of marvellous imagery and places, which could be the starting point of other fantastic spin-off adventures and I am hoping it will because I can absolutely say I would love to know more about it, its legends and magic and the people who lived and live in it.

The story had a nice pace, the right amount of adventures, love and mysteries to be solved and some very intriguing characters (although the story focuses mainly on two people, the side characters are so fascinating and I reckon they are very deserving on their own stories, especially the twins). I am not a fan of the insta-love and the way the protagonist agrees so easily to let Eytan, the deuteragonist and main love interest, show her all the places she had only thought before her escape, but nonetheless I still very much liked this novel; it even managed to surprise me a couple of times and I always appreciate surprises in books.

The Wall by Sarah Jane Singer is definitely worthy of a read, particularly if you are looking for a short novel with thrilling adventures and a book that is able to create such beautiful mental images while reading.

moondoodle's review

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adventurous challenging dark emotional funny hopeful inspiring mysterious reflective tense medium-paced
  • Plot- or character-driven? A mix
  • Strong character development? Yes
  • Loveable characters? Yes
  • Diverse cast of characters? Yes
  • Flaws of characters a main focus? It's complicated


I read a pre-publishing version of this book. I cannot express just how much I adored it. It is a beautiful story of a girl who grew up in an isolated fairy tale discovering the world and her place in it.

The voice used perfectly illustrates the character arcs as characters change and grow. Each character has hidden depths and the ultimate unraveling of the mystery is bot.h fascinating and extremely moving.

I loved every second of reading this book and never wanted to put it down.

Will recommend to anyone who wants to hear new kinds of stories in fantasy literature, and unique voices of authors.
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