Rating: 4 Stars out of 5
At a Tennis Match, Danilo saves a child from Prince Henry’s wrath and his fists, pummeling royalty in the process and as the law says the punishment to striking a member of the Royal Family is nothing less than death itself. Not wanting to punish an innocent the Good King Hiram gives Danilo a chance, he has fourteen days to find the words that will let him live. Fourteen days at the end of which, Danilo either lives or dies.
This book is an adventure Danilo sets on to find the words that will let him live. It is a journey that leads him to Diety Lane, to an old man and to the very truth of his existence.
I loved this book. It was just delightful. All things considered this made for a very interesting read that had me hooked and that writing… oh! What can I say about that writing?
I’m in love with the writing of this book. I started reading this book and found myself laughing and smiling at the way things were described and I was enjoying myself so much that I was completely surprised. You pick up a book that you think you might enjoy and sometimes you enjoy the book more than you ever thought possible and it was so surprising, that it caught me completely off guard. This book is written in a very unique style. It is basically the story of a story within a story and the story encompassing our main story features the writing hand that is penning down this story, so you can see the author change the storylines, take pauses and make decisions which was a very interesting way of presenting this particular story. You would think that being reminded that the characters in this story are merely words on a page would make you less interested in their fates but it had an almost opposite effect. It’s like knowing that it is a story makes you even more invested and I guess that in one line sums up why people read.
Also, I love the world the author envisages. I loved the concept of Diety Lane and I’m completely taken with the concept of the Kitchen. It was the single bright spot on a lane besmirched. I loved this world and was particularly excited about the shaecul and what that could mean for the storyline, though yeah, we didn’t quite go there. Overall, I’m just very taken with this world and the plot and the characters.
The characters are quite a colorful lot, what with Hiram the King and Roger, Danilo, Ivyn, Jonar, Anatol and all the Royal Guards, and I mean it, the guards were so amazing. Also, Kilvar the assassin left quite the impression.
I am a bit on the fence with Henry because while he is just words on a page he is a pretty unscrupulous group of words at that and I never quite understood his sudden redemption. Changing one facet of how the plot plays out doesn’t absolve a character of the traits he previously possessed. Though this is a point of contention, Henry is a very small part of the book and some of his anger could be justified, emphasis on some, I get why he felt like an imposter at the castle but not his bad reputation and I definitely can’t forgive his actions and I’m definitely on the fence about his happy ending. Redemption is a good thing but it has to be earned, it can’t be granted at the turn of a phrase.
There are still things I find myself wanting to know about this world. There was just some gorgeous worldbuilding and I would love to see more of how it works.
I quite enjoyed this story. It happens to be a retelling of a fairy tale but since I haven’t read the original I can’t quite offer comparison though if the retelling is anything to go by the original should be a hoot.
Cover Art by Karrie Jax. I liked the cover, it fits the medieval quality of the story and I especially love how the text highlights the image of the two boys.
Kindle Edition, 225 pages
Published August 8th 2018 by Eric Alan Westfall