Tuesday, March 31, 2015

Magic Casement, by Dave Duncan

A big shout out to Scott J Robinson fellow Mad Genius Club fan, for recommending Dave Duncan to me. And another big shout out for reminding me of that fact, BECAUSE I had absolutely no recollection of downloading the book. No, I do not drink, but I do occasionally sleep, and sometimes right before that, I do things. Not BAD things, but things like watch part of a movie, and then the next morning...what was I talking about? Did I say that out loud?

Once upon a time, there was a princess named Inos. She lived in a tiny little kingdom as the daughter and only child of the kindly king. She didn't like to dress up and have her hair done, but she loved riding her horse and digging for clams on the beach, and she played with the other children without regard for station in life.
Okay, did that sound even the LEAST bit pretentious or hoity toity? No, it just sounded like the start of a great story that you'd love to read for yourself, and then read to your children and grandchildren. And that's exactly the kind of story this is. I wish there were millions more just like it, because then we'd all be reading to our little ones, and Cartoon Network would go out of business....but maybe that's taking this too far.
There really is a princess, and she really is like what I said. But it's not all tomboy princesses. There are wizards and mages and sorcerers, and even gods and goddesses, and in this story, they intervene some of the time. And not all of those with magic powers are nice.
Man, I have GOT to stop writing like I'm talking to an eight year old.
It's just that the book is so well written, that an eight year old could be entertained by it, but it's deep enough that an adult can enjoy it as well. That's a special gift that Dave Duncan has, and evidently I DON'T have it, or I wouldn't have to stop writing so often and return to the adult world.
Okay, let me rip through this before I start getting all precious on you: The two main characters are Inos, the princess, and Rap, the nothing. At least, he is nothing to start with, just an orphan, but as it turns out, he's good with animals. And then the plot thickens.
The people in the kingdom are either imps or jotuns, and Inos comes from both lines. Their kingdom, although small, is critical to the well-balanced running of the rest of the world. Beside imps and jotuns, there are fauns (Rap is half faun, on his mother's side) and goblins, and maybe other types as well. Because they are in a key location, and because the king is getting old, the matter of Inos' future husband is a great concern. There is MUCH intrigue at this level.
Warning: this book is the first of a series, and you aren't going to want to stop with just one. That's okay for YOU, because you aren't reviewers, but if I indulge myself on nothing but Duncan for the next month, my influence will begin to fade, and my contribution to taking over the world and then leaving it ruthlessly alone will become insignificant. Oh, yes, it is a high and lonely road we reviewers have chosen. (Gives a deep sigh, and gazes into the distance. Sees no one watches. Finishes reviewing.)

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