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Wednesday, January 15, 2014

Book Review: The Wanderers by Cheryl Mahoney

This is a delightfully creative and fun read!
The Wanderers
by Cheryl Mahoney
  • File Size: 2023 KB
  • Print Length: 341 pages
  • Page Numbers Source ISBN: 0615912680
  • Publisher: Lucky Cat Press; 1 edition (November 13, 2013)
  • ASIN: B00GI9A48K
Genre: Fantasy
My Rating: 4.5 of 5.0

Book Description
Publication Date: November 13, 2013
Any wandering adventurer hoping to survive needs rules—and Jasper has many. There’s Rule #2: Never make plans; Rule #20: Never make a Good Fairy angry; and the surprisingly challenging Rule #18: Always travel alone.

The talking cat breaks Rule #18 badly enough. The witch’s daughter, desperate to escape her horrible mother, is even worse. Between them, they up-end Jasper’s previously simple life (when all he had to worry about was an occasional giant or dragon), and prove that sometimes, rules are no help at all.

You might recognize the countryside and you may think you know what to expect. But whether it’s a refined ogre, a youngest son in need of lots of questing help or a very dangerous Good Fairy, things here rarely go quite as the Brothers Grimm would tell it.

You’ve strayed beyond the tales…

Jasper is a young man who has spent his adult years as a wandering adventurer. He sees it as his job to rescue girls from... well lots of dilemmas and monsters. There are evil wizards, dangerous witches, a lonely and angry sea queen with a sea serpent monster for a pet and more. The trick for Jasper is to arrange for a cash reward and avoid having to marry the girls, many of whom are beautiful but not always kind or intelligent. Jasper has developed rules for success. Rule #18 is to “Always travel alone.”

During the first adventure in the story Jasper is successful in defeating a wizard who has enslaved a talking cat. No, it’s not a human under a spell, it is a cat who fell under a spell that allows him to talk. Tom, the cat, follows Jasper and since it isn’t exactly breaking rule #18, Jasper allows it.

They head off to rescue a girl from a witch. The rescue seems rather easy and, as usual, Jasper has to refuse to marry the girl. This should be okay since the mother, who is a nasty piece of work, is looking for a prince not an adventurer to marry her daughter to. Jasper and Tom make their escape but the girl, Gwendolyn, escapes to follow them. She claims her mother treats her as a slave and her interfering fairy godmother is no help. To escape the godmother Gwendolyn, renamed Julie by Jasper, claims that she is on a quest, the only thing that can keep the godmother from zapping her back home. Jasper doesn’t want a companion but he agrees to take her along to the next town rather than abandon her in the woods.

One day moves to another and towns are passed as too small or too close. Other adventures are selected and surprisingly, even with limited skills, Julie is able to help Jasper. Each chapter has a new adventure with magical beings and places. The challenges take a combination of battle skills and creative trickiness. Along the way Jasper meets other champions who are seeking to rescue the beautiful girls. Some get in the way and some are in for a surprise.

I found this story wonderfully imaginative and very fun. Each story presents a different riddle with a little poking fun at traditional fairy tale scenarios! Along the way it is clear that Jasper and Julie are becoming attached although Tom sees that they may need a little help to realize and acknowledge their feelings. This is suitable for young adults but good for adults who enjoy fairy tale stories filled with adventure, magic, charm and a little gentle romance. I look forward to enjoying more adventures!

I picked this title to read because it was written by a blog friend author.  I'm glad I picked it up and happy to recommend it!

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