Fantasy Realms

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Sunday, August 28, 2005

The Witch's Boy

Two posts in one day! Yay me! Well, almost the same day. I'm up too late again. Don't always expect this kind of service, though. I have to actually read the books sometime.

Title: The Witch’s Boy
Author: Michael Gruber
Pages: 377
Rating: @@@ (out of five, due to frustration)
Price: $16.99

Summary: What happens when a witch takes in a boy? Well, his life certainly won’t be normal. Lump is…well, a lump. He has no aptitude for magic, no ambition for anything else, and was raised by a negligent witch, her cat familiar, a bear, and a demon. To make things worse, he’s not the handsomest of kids. In fact, he’s downright ugly. When he finally sees normal human children, he pities them for looking so odd, and decides to emulate their behavior, which includes torturing animals. He learns about human society the hard way, and it just gets tougher. His heart gets cold, the only person he loves will never love him, and he withdraws from the world. The ending I will leave for you to read, but the journey is most enlightening, including mentions Hansel and Gretel, Rumpelstiltskin, and Morgana le Fay, but not with the usual stories. This upside-down fairy tale mock up is a frustratingly fun story about the world’s biggest antihero.

Opinion: This book was hard to get through. Not because of difficult plot, or big words, or small print, or length, but because I despised Lump, I hated his character. Yet I knew that I saw some small part of myself in him, a little of me that would’ve argued for the same disastrous decisions. The part I enjoyed most was the retellings of fairy tales and myths. Goldilocks as a one-eyed ogre, Hansel and Gretel meeting a kind witch, and the Rumpelstiltskin issue. The ending wasn’t expected, nor deserved, but it was what I wanted. The talking cat was a big plus too. I just can’t get past my loathing of Lump.

...For the obvious reason (and because the link to "The Witch's Boy" was too long and strange). Remember this: Unless you have a really bad memory, libraries are always cheaper!


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