Books · Read in 2022 · Reviews

Book Thoughts: The Rain Heron (Robbie Arnott)

This is definitely my kind of book


Title: The Rain Heron
Author: Robbie Arnott
Genre: Fiction / Magical Realism
First published: 2020
Edition: Hardback, published by Atlantic Books in 2020

Ren lives alone on the remote frontier of a country devastated by a coup. High on the forested slopes, she survives by hunting and trading – and forgetting. But when a young soldier comes to the mountains in search of a legendary creature, Ren is inexorably drawn into an impossible mission. As their lives entwine, unravel and erupt – as myth merges with reality – both Ren and the soldier are forced to confront what they regret, what they love, and what they fear.


I knew I had to read this book after enjoying reading Flames last year. They both do a similar thing, bringing the kind of magical realism that I enjoy. However, the stories are quite different in feel.

I don’t think the synopsis does the book justice. The story comes in three parts in which we get to know two different women and their connection to the world they live in. The effects of severe climate change and the aftermath of a coup throw a shadow over people’s lives. I thought it was interesting that these things were mentioned, but never really detailed.

What it does talk about is the land, nature and the mythical creatures that both Ren and Zoe are connected to. As with Flames, I really enjoyed the writing and eventhough the story was quite dark and quite full of awful events, it felt like a warm hug somehow. Maybe it was because despite of all the bad things going on, there is still magic on this earth; there is still beauty and things that defy our understanding. And that, that is a wonderful thing.

The ending was not my favourite, but the rest of the book was more than good enough that I can get over that.

I will be looking forward to further books by this Tasmanian author. I love Tasmania by the way and I am so grateful we got a chance to spend two weeks there back in the day. A beautiful island.

6 out of 7 stars

2 thoughts on “Book Thoughts: The Rain Heron (Robbie Arnott)

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