Wednesday, April 8, 2020

My father and I just finished Taash and the Jesters by Ellen Kindt McKenzie

My father and I just finished Taash and the Jesters by Ellen Kindt McKenzie.
An absolutely magical story in a Fairytale Kingdom that consists of many of the usual tropes...except for one: tis the Jesters in Motley rather than the Knights in Shinning Armor that do the protecting and saving, which, in its way and most appropriately, stands every other trope on its head. A true hidden gem of Fantasy literature, we see the powers of evil in all their recognizable yet no less real forms, both magical and mundane, countered not by noble swords and true love's kiss, but by the cunning wit and common decency of court fools and ordinary people. Do not let the book's size deceive you. Like so many hidden gems the words seem to expand beyond the number of pages logic says should contain them. Deep, fun, and heart-stopping at times, Dad and I kept commenting on how surprised we were at how much we still had to read, and were riveted every step, leap, and jester's tumble of the way.

Absolutely stupendous work Taash, jesters Kashka and Piff, Bargah the witch, Lea, and Doro (and Nanalia). Evil may never be entirely slain, yet between the lot of you I doubt good King Aciam and Queen Ekama will need worry overmuch.

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