Review: Faire Fugitive by Madeleine Ribbon

Rating: 3.75 stars out of 5

Faire FugitiveSmall time thief Devlin is on the run. Mac, his friend and former protector is trying to kill him and Devlin can never stay any place for long.  When Mac catches up to Devlin again, Devlin flees to a local Renaissance Faire hoping to pick enough pockets to get the money he needs to move on.  But the faire and the people inside are not quite as they seem.  As Devlin winds his way through the crowd relieving them of their money, he notices a man with piercing green eyes watching him.  Disconcerted, Devlin runs deep into the Faire town, a place full of shops and pubs.  One shop calls to him. EZRA’S AMULETS, and he  enters.  Once inside, one particular amulet calls to him, and unable to stop, Devlin steals the amulet from the shop and puts it on.

From that moment on Devlin’s life starts to change.  For the magic inside the amulet is real and pulls Devlin back to the Faire even as he runs off  back to the city.   Injured, Devlin returns, and waiting him is the man Devlin saw watching him – Ezra.  But Mac is close behind Devlin, gun at hand.  Devlin will die unless a miracle happens.   Will Devlin trust in Ezra and the Faire’s magic to keep him alive or will Mac win out in the end?

Faire Fugitive is my first  book by Madeleine Ribbon but it definitely won’t be my last.  I found this story to be charming, engrossing, absolutely winning in almost every way.  Madeleine Ribbon has created a wonderful universe in her Faire and its varied denizens.  From a fox furry to a fortune teller with more than fortunes up his sleeve, the author has created a modern Brigadoon in the guise of a Renaissance Faire.   Her descriptions of the Faire should be familiar to any person who has visited their local festival but then she takes it several marvelous steps further into a magical realm with a sentience of its own.

Ribbon’s characters too are charming and endearing each in its own way.  Devlin’s life has been a hard one of foster families and then life on the street at the tender age of 11. His only friend has turned against him in a cruel twist of fate and now he is permanently on the run, fleeing for his life and out of funds.  His desperation is keenly felt and the reader not only fears for him but feels for his circumstances too.  Ezra, the amulet maker, is a little more of an enigma.  I wish the author had given us more of his history.  As it is, he doesn’t come against quite as realistic as Devlin does.  None of the others do, except Gail, the fox furry, an adorable character.  But perhaps that is the author’s intent because most of the other people involved are wedded to the magic that is the Faire and are no longer of the outside world.

Madeleine Ribbon’s narrative flows smoothly, bogging down only slightly when it spends too much time with Devlin prior to the Faire.  Once within the gates, however, it picks up speed, gathering momentum as the plot proceeds to the end.  And that is where all my quibbles arrive.  Madeleine Ribbon sets us up for a denouement that never happens.  We keep waiting for the “aha” moment and by a strange and deflating plot twist, takes that satisfaction away from the reader, giving us a poor substitution in its place.   She also ends her story just where we would love to see an Epilogue appear. I hope that the abrupt ending foretells another story in the same universe.  I would be first in line to pick it up.

Even with my quibbles, I recommend Faire Fugitive and look forward to much more from Madeleine Ribbon.

Cover art by Fiona Jayde.  I thought this was a gorgeous cover, perfect in tone and coloring for the story within.  One of my favorites of the month.

Book Details:

ebook, 201 pages
Published June 25th 2013 by Loose Id

A Touch of Fall and The Week In Reviews

So you know that certain color of blue that only appears in the fall skies?  That is the color of the sky outside this morning.  The air has a certain crispness about it, so foreign usually in August here in Maryland.  The light is shining at a different angle, portending the coming fall and the promise of colder weather.  I even heard a flock of Canada Geese this morning, honking as they flew overhead in the largest formation I have seen this year.  What does it all mean?  Probably nothing.  But as I love autumn, I am sure that my step is a little lighter this morning and the dogs a little bouncier on this day that seems so full of anticipation.

So I will be gathering up knitting, Kindle, dogs and my coffee and heading outside to bask in the light of a fall to come.  I cannot tarry inside for I know how fleeting such days are.  Here is the week ahead in reviews and a mini rant on story resolutions.

Monday, Aug. 5, 2013:                    Dance Only For Me by Megan Derr

Tuesday, Aug. 6, 2013:                    Wicked Solutions #1 by Haven Fellows

Wed., Aug. 7, 2013:                           Faire Fugitive by Madeleine Ribbons

Thurs., Aug. 8, 2013:                         Wicked Bindings #2 by Haven Fellows

Friday, Aug. 9, 2013:                        The Beast Without by Christian Baines

Saturday, Aug 10, 2013:                 Wait? That Was The Ending? A Story Writing Mini Rant