The Buried Giant is set in an Arthurian version of ancient Britain, and is definitely not a fantasy novel. While dragons, knights and a mysterious island are key plot points within the novel, it is really about the relationship between the two main characters, an elderly couple, Beatrice and Axl.
The couple realise that they and their community are being robbed of their memories, and remembering their son, if not the reason he left, they set out to visit him in his nearby village. Their journey is quest fraught with diversions and danger, as they gradually recover parts of their memories and parts of themselves. Their relationship changes over the course of the book, as they learn much about themselves and each other, meet new people who walk the line between friend and foe, and we are never certain of anyone’s intentions until the end.
This book is bittersweet and reeks of fear; the fear that the person you love the most could learn of something black and ugly inside of you, and you’re not even sure if there is anything for them to find.
If you like books about people, love and hidden intentions, I recommend The Buried Giant wholeheartedly. If you’re after true fantasy with a bit of action, this is not the book for you.
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