This was a really fun read. Some of the characters were so delightful they have stayed in my mind in rich imagery for the 6 months since I read the book. What I like best was the ending. It's a great lesson for the teen readers, and allows for further adventures of the friends we've grown to love. Great fighting scenes, a tiny bit of romance, and good clean fun. Recommended for age 8/9 to adult, and good for a read-aloud, too.
I agree with other reviewers that this is a fun and exciting story. I would like to complain about the physical book itself. The typeface that is used on the paperback copy I received is very tiny. Granted my eyes are quite a bit older than the target audience for this book, but I don't think I have ever seen printing this small in a paperback book. I can understand saving paper and not wanting to make the book too "fat", but the page formatting could have easily been modified. There is no real need to have 3/4 inch margins on the top and bottom of each page (and that is measured from the page number and the page title).
Anyway, enjoy the story, just be sure you have a good light to read by.
This book is like a very, very, very tired Disney movie. There are brief glimpses of originality, but the story mainly consists of stereotype characters in a very predictable plot. There are much better fantasy books out there.
This book was a book club read from the teen book club at my local library. I was not sure what I was getting into when I received it; however by the book summary on the back of the book, it sounded entertaining.
The story is a classic fairytale with setting and creatures from a fantasy. Sebastian Darke who starts on a quest with his buffalope to the kingdom to apply for the job of the court jester. His father was a great jester and Sebastian hoped to fill father's large shoes after his father's death. The only problem... He is not funny. Along the way he picks up a few odd characters and ends up rescuing a princess. This act brings on a whole new mess that Sebastian and his friends have to figure a way out of.
The writing of this book is easy and fast paced and spellbinding. It reads just like any fairytale but with a bit of a comical twist. I was able to read it quickly, keeping up with the humor, the antics, the danger, the romance, and everything else that was thrown into this story.
I just loved the characters in this book. There were quite a few good ones. The characters from the story include a princess, a soldier, a jester, a buffalope, and the villains. The characters are very vivid and all of a different variety. The jester is half elf and half human, the princess is human, the soldier is a little creature with a baby face, the buffalope is a talking creature between a buffalo and an antelope (I would assume) and the villains are from humans to Lupes.
Sebastian Darke wants to be a jester and as hard as he tries, he just isn't funny. The book does contain some of his jokes as he attempts them on his friends. Even though his jokes are not funny, I tended to laugh out loud at them because they were just that bad. I admired Sebastian's persistence. This was by far his best quality he did have some other good ones too, bravery, loyalty, and kindness.
Along the way Sebastian meets up with the soldier who joins the quest. The soldier was recently told he could not be in the guard of his kingdom because of a new height restriction. He headed out to the next kingdom in attempt to join their guard. This is the same kingdom where Sebastian is headed. The soldier may be small but he can really kick some tail. He is pretty awesome really. Further along the way they have to save the princess on her way home to the same kingdom. The princess is a very pretty girl of 16 turning 17 in a couple of days, but spoiled and mean. I would like to say that my favorite character is the buffalope. He is quite sarcastic, intelligent, and humorous.
The journey is a very short part of the book, but it is where we get to know these characters. This is really the only point to this part. The next part is longer and involves the villains. As with many fairytales there is treachery involved and I was able to spot it from the beginning. Throughout the story, the soldier, the jester, and the buffalope become the hero of the princess, more than once.
The story did not include any surprises but I did not mind. It was simply a fun fairytale with fun characters. It was an easy read and very enjoyable but not a lot of meat. This is part of a trilogy and I plan to check the other out the following two books.
Poor Sebastian Darke is just not funny. For most people, this is a minor inconvenience, but for the son of a successful jester, this is bad news.
After his father's untimely death, Sebastian is forced to put on his father's costume and continue his trade. The jester outfit doesn't really fit and neither does the profession. Undeterred but mostly just desperate, Sebastian sets off with his father's Buffalope, Max, to offer his humorous services to King Septimus of Keladon.
On the ensuing journey, the half-elf, half-human teen and his partner/pack animal meet the fierce but pint-sized Captain Cornelius Drummel and rescue a beautiful princess named Kerin. The four think their problems are over when they reach Keladon, but with a corrupt king on the throne the trouble is just starting.
SEBASTIAN DARKE: PRINCE OF FOOLS by Philip Caveney is a fast and fun-filled ride with bad jokes and worse villains. While the jokes are never good, the characters are wonderfully atypical. Philip Caveney follows in the rich tradition of evil crones, hair-brained schemes, and talking animals, and seems to have a lot of fun with it.
One of my favorite characters was Osbert, the barely intelligible but lovable royal Buffalope. An added plus are the pictures. And though I won't ruin the ending, I will say that it's refreshingly unexpected.
I actually purchased this book several years ago as a gift, and then never read it myself. Looking for a good book a few weeks ago, I decided to try this one out. It's a solid 3 stars in my opinion, entertaining, but nothing over the edge of average. The story was cute, but very predictable, the adventure was only ever briefly tense if that. Its worth a read, but don't expect it to be more than a basic novel. I may eventually try reading the sequel to see if the writing improves, but for now I will try a different series.
Kids would probably love it. Very classic good guys vs bad guys, bad guys can't touch them. There is no Profanity (or none that is real in our world, one character swears by shadlock all the time ex: by shadlock's beard). There is no Sex. There is violence, but nothing graphic. The "heroes" fight bad guys, and wounds happen, people fall to their death, but that is where the violence ends, no gruesome descriptions. I would say this book is good for around age 10 and up.