Reviewer Gordon Osmond : Gordon is a produced and award-winning playwright and author of: So You Think You Know English--A Guide to English for Those Who Think They Don't Need One, Wet Firecrackers--The Unauthorized Autobiography of Gordon Osmond and his debut novel Slipping on Stardust.
He has reviewed books and stageplays for http://CurtainUp.com and for the Bertha Klausner International Literary Agency. He is a graduate of Columbia College and Columbia Law School and practiced law on Wall Street for many years before concentrating on writing fiction and non-fiction. You can find out more about Gordon by clicking HERE
Publisher:Sulby Hall Publishers
Publisher:Sulby Hall Publishers
As author Burgess hurls her nine companions to the far corners of both time and space, I knew I wasn’t in England anymore. I also had the feeling that I wasn’t in Kansas any more for there is much in this book that reminds the reader of the innocent fantasy that is The Wizard of Oz. We have the incremental collection of an increasing number of travelers jointly seeking a mystical place, a succession of obstructions blocking their path, and overall, the presentation of colorful and romantic settings and situations that keep the imagination fully engaged.
The correspondence to Arthurian lore is unmistakable. The core pair consists of Arthur and Jen, quickly supplemented with Lance, who sleeps a lot. In Wales, they hook up with a wizard originally male Monk Martin, now female Bronwen. Swords, amulets, pentangles abound. But not to leave Oz too far behind, Dorothy’s dog, Toto, is now Bronwen’s cat Mini, who goes from alive, to killed with a boulder right out of Raiders of the Lost Ark, and back to the very much alive object of the entire quest.
I was charmed by the juxtaposition of time periods. The story is told in a B.C/A.D time frame with the result that the reader never quite knows if the air is being filled with dragons or helicopters. And ancient references to eternal truth and internal happiness are crazily related to contemporary concerns about air pollution and global warning. One is never quite sure whether the next communication among characters is going to be effected by ESP or by cell phone. Moses texting the Ten Commandments wouldn’t be that much of a stretch in the wonderful, dimensionless world that Burgess has put together. In this world, reincarnation and resurrection are child’s play.
The author’s lyrical writing style perfectly matches the tale she tells. Although some sentences are overly populated with proper nouns, aggravated to some extent by characters with proliferating names, there is a dominant sense that the book is being powered by an author enamored with the softer side of the English language. There is no slight intended by noting that the book often has the tone of a children’s book, passages from which could easily lure a child into a magical kingdom on the way to sleep. There is certainly no sex or material violence to interrupt the process. When “dratted” is used instead of more pungent adjectives, when a fanny pack is called a passport bag, and when a hero’s horniness is expressed to his pillow pal as, “All right. Good night then, Bronwen. You do know that I am not at all tired, don‘t you,” we know we’re squarely in General Audience territory.
If ever a book cried out for illustration, this is it. At one point, the book states: “Pictures transcend language.” The author’s sensitivity to color, landscape, and atmosphere would both challenge and facilitate an artist willing to join the author in a conspiracy to produce beautiful visual and prose representations.
Although Book Two is not a part of this book’s title, it is clearly a sequel to the author’s 2011 release, The Magic Manuscript: Book One—Voyage to Eve Ilion, and the final pages of The Nine Companions make even clearer that another book in the series lies ahead. Lovers of innocent and well written fantasy novels will surely welcome its arrival.
Follow Here To Purchase The Magic Manuscript: The Nine Companions