I’ve been really busy, so it took me a while to get into this book. But, once I got to page 80, I read the remaining 260 pages in a single sitting! I just had to know what would happen.
This was a fun, amusing read of several stories that all raveled together into a story mainly about a boy who likes a girl and his attempts to “win her heart”.
Setting: The story is set in the town of Eventide and the stories all revolve around that town. The town is near the kingdom seat and so there are some heroes and other interesting characters who we get to know. There are some lovely descriptions of the Pantheon church and the wishing well that helped to enliven my image of the town.
Plot: There are several plots going on here. The overarching plot is that a Dragon’s Bard has come to town to learn the town’s stories so he can take them back to the dragon so that the dragon won’t kill him and everyone else. This sets up the format of the book and the need for the Bard to be everywhere. Then there is the plot of the boy, Jarod, wanting to gain the love of a girl, with the Bard “guiding” Jarod in all sorts of crazy “adventures” to do so. There is the plot of the broken wishes of the wishing well and its effect on the townspeople. And there is a small plot about the town clergyman and his trial of faith. So, lots and lots going on. And yet, I never really felt confused – even when I took so long to get through the first 80 pages.
Characters: The characters are all interesting and unique. There are centaurs and dwarves and gnomes and elves and fairies and humans and well-women (the caretakers of the wishing well and its magic). Jarod is a great character to come to know. And I really liked Father Patrice and I felt for him and his struggles. The Bard is silly and pretentious – and perfect for his job. Caprice is charming and sweet. And Bennis is my hero. There is someone for everyone to relate to in this book.
Conflict: At the end of the first part of the book and throughout the remainder, the conflicts start to make more sense and they became more real for me. Some would say that the beginning was slow and hard to get through (and they may be partially correct), but I needed all that in order to be dragged through the remainder of the book – I had to care about the characters and their problems.
Text: The writing is beautiful and funny. What more can I ask for?