Like all good comic writers, Fforde always offers his readers a gripping story on which he then hangs choice examples of his laconic, under-stated humour. But in this novel, scenes of urban decay under dictatorship, with private armies outside roaming the surrounding countryside in search of booty, get closer to depicting the sort of dysfunctional state only too often visible on today’s television news. The result therefore is something of a compromise between entertainment and drama as Jennifer Strange, wizard organiser extraordinary, and her gang of helpers explore the neighbouring Cambrian Empire. This country has some resemblance to Wales but is otherwise known as the land that Health and Safety forgot. Their mission is to find the legendary jewel of the title, and this they finally manage to do after a series of adventures both weird and wonderful. There is so much to enjoy here at a time when belly laughs in fantasy writing are in short supply after the death of Diana Wynne Jones, past master of this genre. But Fforde’s jokes are always excellent; only he could come up with a dismembered magic hand with ‘No More Pies’ tattooed onto its knuckles. There is a little too much detail when it comes to describing complicated imaginary places, always difficult to visualise from text alone, but otherwise this story is a winner once again, well qualified to join a literary stable already full of this author’s past champions.
http://booksforkeeps.co.uk/wp-content/uploads/2020/12/bfklogo.png 0 0 Angie Hill http://booksforkeeps.co.uk/wp-content/uploads/2020/12/bfklogo.png Angie Hill2014-05-01 01:00:312021-10-14 16:56:08The Eye of Zoltar