My father and I just finished The Extremely Inconvenient Adventures of Bronte Mettlestone by Jaclyn Moriarty, book one of her Kingdoms and Empires Series.
Okay, let me me clear here; we have read a LOT of books over the better part of three decades, but NONE of them has so confounded me as to how – and what – to write about it once we finished. On Lantern Isle Bronte receives a special book from a very loud librarian, a book which one need only shake for the words you are looking for to fall out. Frankly, I could use that book right about now but, lacking it, I will try my best. It was a madcap adventure that went beyond the mere whimsicality such as is often found in Faerie (though this tale does not occur in Faerie) to the point of a nearly new sub-genre of Absurdist Fantasy. It was laugh-out-loud and groan-aloud. It was an utter joy and the closest to a Diana Wynne Jones book that we have ever encountered, which is the rarest and highest praise we can give – a majestically spellbinding work that was a circus of surprises of every conceivable kind and a perfect ending.Splendid work Bronte for following those Faery cross-stitch instructions through Aunts and ice-cream, dragons and detective work, water-sprites and Whisperers, pirates and strange paintings, all the way to shaking that book to finding those three words. Until next time! (These are not the three words.)