I just finished reading The Meq (2005) by Steve Cash yesterday. And, at the risk of gushing, the word “awesome” really doesn’t do this book justice. The Meq was Cash’s first novel, but the richness of the text and the strong characters seem like the work of veteran writer. So, you may ask, what is The Meq about? The quick version is that it’s a story akin to the Highlander movies. But that doesn’t really explain much.
The Meq are a mysterious race of immortals that have been around since, well, the beginning. They stop aging when they turn twelve, they cannot get sick or die, and they do not continue aging until meeting their ameq (soulmate). The catch is they have no idea why they are immortal; no knowledge of their origins.
Cash’s book begins when Zianno Zezen turns twelve (for the first time) in 1881 and learns that he and his parents are Meq. This book, the first in a series, spans from 1881 to 1918. Cash’s writing style lends itself to the breezy way that the Meq can deal with time (what’s a few years when you can live forever?). And, while it may seem strange to read about centuries-old people living in the bodies of children, Cash makes that work too. While the story has adventure and romance, the main conceit of this novel (and I presume later ones in the series) is Z’s search, along with his fellow Meq, for the truth behind their origins.
The book is generally categorized as YA, but I really think it’s a must-read for anyone who has any interest in fantasy novels.