Out picking blackberries, Rory surveys his world. There is a harbour, but no boats. There are islands, once shown on a map that is no longer visible. And there is Home, where Rory lives. There were the Old Days, and now there is just now. Something happened and something else may be about to happen.
Rory can see a lot from up on Briar Hill and he can see that something has washed up on shore. That cannot be good. But the most important thing for Rory is to do as he is told – do his chores, and not upset the women who make the decisions. It is the women who make the decisions, of course, because the men are all gone.
Like the second book in this series was to begin with, Arcadia appears detached from Advent, the wonderful beginning of this trilogy, and everything that has come before. Rory is a new character and an adorable one – the young boy who sometimes wishes the stories in his comic books were real. He is a likeable protagonist, being the classic unlikely hero, and it is through his eyes that most of this instalment is witnessed.
As sinister and strange as Anarchy before it, this is the kind of story that cannot easily be set aside. It plagues the reader between sittings as strongly as it intrigues them through the pages, and eventually the echoes of Advent come through to connect all of the pieces together and finish the greater story.
Essentially, the Advent Trilogy explores the consequences of magic being brought into the world. The story takes the reader through a chilling demonstration of the scale of the effect and the seemingly miniscule actions that turn out to have profound repercussions on our world and way of life.