My father and I just finished The Astonishing Chronicles of Oscar from Elsewhere by Jaclyn Moriarty, the fourth and final book of her Kingdoms and Empires Series.
I cannot stand it. A double sentiment here, firstly because it is over and secondly since I said this any numbers of times as we read it. For this book is a celebration of everything that makes the Kingdoms and Empires great! Like book one it was a madcap adventure that went beyond the mere whimsicality to the point of a nearly new sub-genre of Absurdist Fantasy, but with the poignant emotion depths of book three and written in the beautiful back and forth narrative of book two. (I mean come on, whoever heard of questing to save an Elf City from their own king-choosing ritual gone wrong that even gone right risks collective mass death?) Better yet – we were JONESED! – for not only did Moriarty continue to channel the great Diana Wynne Jones, she played a trick that had us howling at the ceiling and pounding the bed in mad delight summarized by the words "I cannot stand it" and "just another day in the Kingdoms and Empires." Days we will miss, for reading this series was almost like getting Jones back. An utter, grinning ear-to-ear and groaning joy filled with all the unexpected tricks of bright magic.
We already miss you so much Bronte Mettlestone and the Mettlestone-Staranise sisters Astrid, Esther, and Imogen; Oscar from our world, Alejandro, Finlay, Honey Bee and rest of the Children of Spindrift, the various Mettlestone Aunts. The K&E Alliance is blessed to have you.
(By the way, Jaclyn Moriarty obviously had WAY TOO MUCH FUN writing this series!)