Monday, July 21, 2014

Finnian's Fiddle by Chandler Groover

Finnian's Fiddle
Author:  Chandler Groover
Publisher:  Self-Published
Pages: 414
Release Date: May 2nd, 2014
Source: Received from the author in exchange for
an honest review

Dragons can often be obstinate, and when one dragon arrives at a rural seaport demanding to hear a child prodigy perform the violin, the townspeople must strategize. They send a boy named Finnian to the city to learn how to play. 

Unfortunately for Finnian, the task isn’t so simple. Everyone from bandits to scheming aristocrats seem to stand in his way, and before his quest has ended, he will have to contend with a devious plot stretching into the fairy realm itself. 

FINNIAN'S FIDDLE is a fantasy story for all ages—a folktale with mythic proportions.

Finnian's Fiddle is a story with undeniable charm; it's clever story line coupled with witty narration makes this tale reminiscent of stories like Stardust and The Princess Bride. As you drift from one encounter to another, the imagination and whimsy soon carry you away. Even at some of the more outlandish segments, I couldn't help smiling and turning another page, just to see what happened next.

There is a childlike whimsy to this book that will captivate many readers in the manner Alice in Wonderland did. While it starts in a simple manner, with a dragon and a quest for music, it soon grows and evolves with bandits, rivalries, fairies and quests that get more impossible with the passing moment. Poor Finnian keeps pushing forward, trying his best to learn music before his village is devoured. But talent isn't just something you can find in a year, despite his intense pursuit for it. 

I like that this story was new, but it had some elements that felt familiar to older storybook tales. It seemed like a story you could read over several nights yet still enjoy each mini adventure. There were a few points where this story was a bit intense, however, such as the feast with the Fairy Queen and the party on the mountain. I'm a squeamish reader, so those were the only areas that were a bit difficult for me to get through. Yet I felt they added to the story, and helped with this coming of age sort of adventure. Some of the more serious moments made this more than just a story about a boy and his fiddle, but a quest to find music by loosing himself.

If you are looking for a book that is imaginative, creative, and a little quirky, this may be the read for you. Especially if you like some light word humor, and prods at the fourth wall along the way.

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