Saturday, July 27, 2013
The Wizard, The Farmer, and the Very Petty Princess - Daniel Fox
2011; 216 pages. New Author? : Yes. Genre : Epic Fairytale. Overall Rating : 7½*/10.
The Wizard (Magician, actually) Bodolomous wants to be the Most Evil Person Ever. The Princess Willuna wants to learn how to be serious so King Anisim will marry her. The Farmer, Idwal, just wants to live a dull, normal life and avoid adventure at any cost.
Some of them achieve their goals, but not necessarily in the manner they expected. Some of them fail miserably at their goals. All of them get swept up in an epic Fairytale.
What’s To Like...
In a nutshell, The Wizard, The Farmer, and the Very Petty Princess is a 200-page, fun-to-read fairytale. It borrows elements from a number of other works – Monty Python’s Holy Grail (“how do you know she’s a witch?”), The Wizard of Oz (characters searching for what they lack), and several classic fairytales. But the story itself goes its own way; there's nothing stale or boring here.
The characters aren’t very deep, and gifts like magic fiddles and magic bows-&-arrows pop up when needed. But that’s the norm in fairytales. Face it, Little Red Riding Hood is a shallow character, and Cinderella's mice and pumpkins are conveniently at hand to be changed into horses and carriages.
A number of the chapters start off with “If you were to ask so-&-so if this story was about her…”, and end with “And that was how so-&-so learned such-&-such”. I found that both novel and neat.
Everything builds to a nice storybook ending. This is a standalone story, although I could see the characters having further adventures in sequels. There also could be a prequel, as reference was made to the “human wars” occurring 40 years earlier, but ANAICT, this never figured into the plotline.
Bodolomous peered over the castle’s wall. Below them the city spread out down the hill. People below celebrated – making fireflies of themselves with sparklers, making themselves hyenas with their laughter, some of them making themselves pregnant with regrettably ugly people and a great deal of ale. The wizard sniffed. He had been one of them, once. “Noisy”, he said, his voice all disdain. (loc. 703)
Anisim smiled. “You’re a vision when you’re breaking things.”
“I think I’ve found my calling. And you, good sir, maybe you’ll get to hang up your sword for just a little while. I heard you cut off your father’s head by the way, how did that go?”
“Go? It went off and to the left.” (loc. 3509)
The Wizard, The Farmer, and the Very Petty Princess sells for $3.99 at Amazon. ANAICT, this is Daniel Fox’s only book there.
“I won’t have somebody mucking up my bid for infamy. Off with you now.” (loc. 1027)
There is a review at Amazon wherein the writer says that, while this is a good book, she found it inappropriate for her 12-year-old. I am frankly dumbfounded. There is no sex, drugs, cussing, or even alcohol in the book. There are one or two references to Snow-Drop’s “boobs”, but that’s the worst I can remember. Really, lady? You think your tweener can’t handle that? Wow.
TWTF&TVPP is a pleasant, light read that both adults and kids will like. It isn’t deep; it doesn’t take itself too seriously. But it is entertaining, despite being “just” a fairytale. That’s a worthy accomplishment by Daniel Fox. 7½ Stars.