I could see this appealing to ambitious teenagers looking for a thick book to read. One that thoroughly world builds, has an awkward main character that doesn’t fit in, a world of ambition. Yes, this would do the trick quite nicely.
It’s not that I didn’t like it. Nor that I could not relate to it. There was a modest usage of crutch words reminiscent of the time it was written. In some scenes the structure pulled me out and I was a third row back from the stage. In some, the frame shoved in close and the world opened up around me and I was in the scene.
I found that I could not read large chunks of the book at a time because of the development of the MC. Poor thing, has to have some form of neurodivergent tendency. Highly forgetful, lost to bouts of fantasy and whimsy, some social alienation, does not always understand why he is in trouble, though everyone else does. I connected to the character, and in a way, that made me more uncomfortable than if I had not seen myself in him. This is primarily because of the various punishments implemented upon him in hopes of training him to do better. Those methods don’t work. The author and the MC both know that.
I like where this story is going. It is immersive when I’m not staring at the word seemed for the hundredth time. I have found, I must back away from editing other people’s works for a few hours before picking up a book to review for content or else my editor mode is still on. If it is on, then I can’t appreciate the story and am instead analyzing sentence structure and the logic of the story at that small frame level.
This one I would give a go ahead for people interested in fantasy books and wanting to read something a bit thicker. The only part that grated a little more than repeated crutch words (seemed, just, very only) was a heavy handed referencing of religion in a Catholic tone sense. I appreciate it’s incorporation for making the time frame in the fantasy world work. However; for me on a personal bases, I don’t care too much for a book that I have to question if it’s an allegory to Pilgrim’s Progress.
If you want a comparison of what this book was in movies and TV, I would say it worked out rather well as a more in depth dive of Disney’s The Sword in the Stone in terms of setting and a socially awkward youth who’s primary function is to clean the castle.
I am a writer and artist working through the Kavordian Library series. I write sci-fi, fantasy, lgbt romance.