Review: Walking on Water by Matthew J. Metzger

When a cloud falls to earth, Calla sets out to find what lies beyond the sky. Father says there’s nothing, but Calla knows better. Something killed that cloud; someone brought it down.

Raised on legends of fabled skymen, Calla never expected them to be real, much less save one from drowning—and lose her heart to him. Who are the men who walk on water? And how can such strange creatures be so beautiful?

Infatuated and intrigued, Calla rises out of her world in pursuit of a skyman who doesn’t even speak her language. Above the waves lies more than princes and politics. Above the sky awaits the discovery of who Calla was always meant to be. But what if it also means never going home again?

Matthew J. Metzger is one of my all time favourite authors, I don't think there is a story he's written I've not loved despite the diversity - or maybe because of the diversity - of his writing. Walking on water is a retelling of Hans Christian Andersen's The Little Mermaid, and it's AMAZING. Completely and utterly amazing.

The writing drew me in and compelled me to read the story of Calla, the mermaid who never quite fitted in. The mermaid who wanted more than the life she was given; the mermaid who needed to become her - his - true self. And that trueself was Held, a skyman.

Keeping the essence of the original story whilst turning it into an analogy of transgenderism, Metzger used his prose carefully to weave a heart-achingly beautiful story of  being. Being brave and bold; being unafraid to love or explore or care; being honest; being true. 

The worlds created here, first the underwater kingdom in which Calla resides, then the skyworld of Held and Janez are beautiful. We see the skyworld as Held sees it and we learn as he learns in many ways. It was clever using the German language to show the language barrier between Held, and well everyone, but particularly Janez. It was a language I don't speak, yet it was quite easy to work out the general meaning of each phrase, if not the specific one. 

The romance that blossomed between Held and Janez was beautiful but not easy. A prince in one land and a man with no known origin and no language in common was never going to be easy. Yet every hurdle they faced made me want them to beat the odds more and more. They belonged together, pure and simple. 

This is definitely going on my favourite reads list and I recommend it to everyone.
A copy of this book was given in exchange for an honest review.
For more information see Goodreads.

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