Where to start? Well, first of all I shall state that I am not a fan of conventional fantasy novels. Maybe I don’t have the staying power. Maybe I’m too easily distracted and I… ooh, look – cookies! I am married to a fantasy author, for heaven’s sake. I should be embracing Tolkien and David Eddings and Robert Jordan – but I don’t. I can’t. It just isn’t for me.
So it was pretty brave of Jonathan Gould – knowing this – to ask me to review his novel. He also knows that I’m a fan of people who do try to do something different – for example, I adore Terry Pratchett’s books. I love the work of Jeremy Rodden. I even love my husband’s work because, although it isn’t fun like Rodden’s and Gould’s he has tried to do something different and make the stories more prevalent than the words. What all these people have in common is this: writing fantasy for people who don’t like fantasy.
Fantasy for people who don’t like fantasy. That’s the only way to describe Magnus Opum. Except, it’s far too limiting because I dare say it’s also fantasy for people who do like fantasy. It doesn’t matter that there are weird things happening in mystical lands. These stories manage to shout ‘HEY! We sending a message that’s just as relevant to you humans, even if you don’t have 7 toes and four eyeballs’.
Magnus Opum is a wonderful story – there’s no doubt about that. Magnus has a quest and he embraces it fully, it takes him to new places and he encounters new races during his adventures. However, it’s the things that Magnus learns that really make this story shine for me. I don’t know how Gould does it but in each of his books so far, you are lulled into thinking you are reading something light-hearted and almost, dare I say it, fluffy and fun but actually, when you sit back you suddenly realise you’ve been hit with a sledgehammer of wisdom.
There is a reason that Gould is one of my favourite writers. His books offer so many things presented in such a wonderful manner. To produce something that is so easy to read and yet offers something on so many levels must surely take an immense amount of skill. I hope there is much more to come. This review was originally published on Book Bags and Cat Naps. I receive a copy of this book in exchange for my fair and honest review. I did not receive any additional compensation and all views are my own.