For every book we release, we'll be sure to post a review of it during the week before the book comes out. If you would like to be able to provide book reviews for Thinklings, please send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org. Our next book, The Land of the Purple Ring by Deborah J. Natelson, comes out on May 5th. This review comes from Rheanna George, of The Word Coach.
Take it away, Rheanna. . . .
Deborah J. Natelson’s latest novel is a whip-smart fantasy with a pure fairy-tale soul. Time, the annihilating queen, commissions a slave made of clockwork. But he escapes her mausoleum of a palace and her O’clock twins to travel many lands: marketplaces and swamps, the Tomb of Ego and the Mother of All Cheeses, and, in the end, to the seven colored rings where the lost reside.
This novel makes the reader mourn and laugh and speculate. I was startled in a fresh and enchanting way by every character, including but not nearly limited to a mushroom-loving wizard who vamazes (that’s related to the verb "to amaze"—but it’s more vamazing), a Russian dwarf hamster who is exactly smart enough for his own good, a lamppost who engages in the most dubious research, a crew of skeletal pirates dancing and singing across the high seas, and a narrative voice with a mind and motive of its own.
I recommend The Land of the Purple Ring to anyone who likes a book where you can get thoroughly and delightfully lost. Natelson writes with the humor and invention of a Norton Juster, a James Thurber, or a Walter Moers as she distinguishes between different types of magic (nine of them, actually), between life and art, between freedom and purpose. With every scene, the reader only grows hungrier for the inexhaustible lore of this world—a strange world, yet one that intersects and illuminates our own. Mind-bending insights are embedded in every paragraph, plentiful as seeds in strawberries. This fantastic tale challenges the mind as well as satisfies the heart.
Our thanks to Rheanna! You can read the first chapter of The Land of the Purple Ring here for free, OR watch/listen to Deborah read it here.