Connie Lansberg’s fondness for music is clear in The Perfect Tear, an ambitious tome that fuses elements of fantasy, romance and young adult literature.
Lansberg, an accomplished singer/songwriter centered in Melbourne, Australia, infuses her freshman effort with heartfelt testaments to the power of music. This theme comes through in the journey of the shy orphan Eleanor, the book’s protagonist, who uses the power of song to maintain the natural balance of the world around her. Indeed, Eleanor’s music boasts a magical quality, one that positively impacts her world.
The core conflict comes when Eleanor’s songs are stolen by a villain intent on seizing control of the natural world. To restore balance and reclaim the healing effect of her music, Eleanor embarks on a journey to find the titular Perfect Tear, a crystal that holds the secret to saving the natural world. It’s a quest that fits snugly into the epic fantasy tradition. Just as Bilbo Baggins had to leave the comfort of the Shire in The Hobbit, Eleanor must move past her seemingly simple roots and discover deeper truths about her own powers and purpose.
That basic message of empowerment and self-discovery is the most compelling element of The Perfect Tear, a story with plenty of complexities. Lansberg details a fantasy world with an intricate cosmology and physical structure and a cast of characters that runs the gamut from menacing monsters to ethereal spiritual beings. At 300 pages, sometimes the author’s descriptions of helices, vibrations and other elements of this physical universe can feel a bit dense and turgid. Happily, Eleanor’s very relatable journey, rather than these components, forms the heart of the narrative.
That narrative will speak to any young reader with a fondness for fantasy who also may be seeking their own sense of strength and direction. In that sense, Lansberg creates a modern fairy tale with the straightforward appeal of a hummable melody—one that never gets lost in complexities.
Also available as an ebook.