©2005 Avi; (P)2005 Recorded Books, LLC
"This is a story with a message, a true fable. Thoughtful readers will devour its absorbing plot and humorous elements, and learn a 'useful truth' along the way." (School Library Journal)
"Avi's name on the cover of a new novel is enough to provoke shivers of anticipation in many readers, and in this 'Fable of Medieval Magic' set in eleventh-century England, shivers are certainly warranted." (Booklist)
The world he created was to small and uninteresting, and the charecters were to stereotpical and flat. They didn't go anywhere.
He Did teach me a latin phrase through constant (too much) repetition "Dura Lex, said Lex" the Law is hard but it is the law.
mild amusement and disappointment
From the description of a story set in 1048 England, I expected a historically based fantasy novel. Instead this book could have been set at any time or place. There was little description of the town, kingdom, and country. Though "God" was mentioned a lot by the characters, and one of the characters was a monk, there was no presence of Medieval Christianity or any religious system at all. In fact I think the "saints" may have been made up. Similarly, the "black" magic lacked an origin and explanation.
The characters similarly lacked backstory and complexity. The badies were bad the goodie was good, the orphan was weak and the annoying kid was annoying, and they all wanted gold, even though there was no proof or evidence of existing gold from page one.
I'm not trying to be nit-picky, but many of the story elements that moved the plot were just stupid and went against common sense. Forexample, the Reeve/Policeman was planning on storming the house executing the occupants, and stealing their gold from day one, but he never decides to force his way in, until 3 days later when the goodguys have escaped, or when the goodguys search the house for gold they ignore the mysterious locked chests in the basement. Overall it read like a rough draft with an amusing plot and avenues for sub-plots, but nothing was ever developed and there were wholes and inconsistencies a plenty. In my opinion not worth the time and money.
One good thing: the narrator did do a good job with the material he had.
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