Young fans of N.D. Wilson’s fantasy fiction, once they find out about the pending release of this book, will be jumping up and down with barely contained excitement. In some cases, it won’t be barely contained. It will be unbridled glee. In other instances, perhaps, it will be untrammeled joy. Whatever it is, The Door Before is releasing on June 27, 2017.
The Door Before is a prequel to the 100 Cupboards trilogy — 100 Cupboards, Dandelion Fire, and The Chestnut King. But wait . . . there is way more than that. It also weaves this Cupboards backstory together with the world of the Ashtown Burials — The Dragon’s Tooth, The Drowned Vault, and Empire of Bones. A fourth installment on that series is still pending, entitled The Silent Bells. Without getting into the Byzantine world of New York publishing house decision-making, those who have been wanting an interim Ashtown fix can get it here — even though the book is technically a Cupboards prequel. Don’t you get what I am saying? This is a Prequel, people.
Hyacinth Smith is the heroine of this story, and she comes from the Smiths of Ashtown fame. She has the gift of summoning growth out of living things, which lands her in the dangerous position of opening up ways between worlds. What with one thing and another, she teams up with Caleb and Mordecai Westmore, who tumbled into our world from Hylfing as part of their fight with Nimiane the witch. Before we are done, we are briefly walked through Henry, Kansas, we meet Rupert Greeves as a young boy, we spend time on an island full of raggants, and once again learn from the heroism of dogs. Whatever it is you think, dogs are more important than we realize.
This book is truly a satisfying read. Lots of little pieces clicking into place. I wouldn’t want to bind anyone’s conscience on this, but only wicked people haven’t preordered it yet.