This review is really short because I choose not to regurgitate the synopsis, and I don’t post spoilers. This book was written in a style that I felt like I was reading some ancient fairy tale from long ago. It had a cozy, comforting feel about it. You actually felt the emotions that the characters felt whether it was the joy of long lost brothers or the heartbreak of a fathers unrequited love. At times, you can almost see the landscape experience the other senses of the characters. It was unique in the storyline, characters, conflicts and everything else. I can’t find one thing to compare this book against.
Five stars are not enough. This is storyline is like nothing I have ever read before. The characters are well written, I love the period-style language the author used to write the entire book. This book had me hooked within the first few pages and ended by leaving me smiling. This could easily be a modern classic
Photo: Bob O’Lary
Alumnus Springer produces the essay “A question of quality” for GETTYSBURG MAGAZINE (Spring 2018).
Half a century ago, as an English Lit major at Gettysburg College, I learned to love quality fiction. Now I worry about its future.
Having become a professional fiction writer after graduation, I have an intimate perspective on how drastically the field has changed. Back then, I wrote novels by scribbling in notebooks and prepared final drafts on a typewriter, using two carbons. The process took years.
The gatekeepers of publishing were strict. Rejection slips papered every aspiring writer’s office walls. Acceptance took seemingly forever, but self-publication (“vanity press”) was beneath the industry’s contempt and self-published books were not tolerated in respectable bookstores.
Soon, desktop publishing beckoned—fun and easy—while a new form of essay, the blog (web log), made it possible for anyone to spread words and ideas across the internet, without editorial review. Like television a generation earlier, the internet changed everyone’s lives, and like television, it offered tremendous potential for good—or harm. Television seemed to replace quality fiction in magazines, and now it seems the internet may well have the same effect on novels. New writers no longer pay their dues by learning their craft from editors; they electronically publish online. Self-publishing is no longer vanity press; it is the norm.
According to the populist message of today, any sort of selection process is elitist; everyone has the right to be published. But how is quality fiction to compete with vistas of free or low-cost verbiage? And how many Gettysburg graduates will ever again be able to make a living doing what they love best—if it happens to be fiction writing?
PUBLISHERS WEEKLY honors Springer’s forthcoming Grandghost with a starred review.
At the start of this sprightly tale of longing and renewal from Edgar-winner Springer (Dark Lie), Beverly Vernon, a children’s books illustrator who has recently settled in a small Florida Panhandle town following her husband’s death, receives bad news from her literary agent in New York—her most recent book is unsalable.
Beverly’s wit and humanity keep this highly readable novel grounded when it blossoms into fully fledged fantasy.
For more info on THE ODDLING PRINCE, visit the Tachyon page.
Cover art by Brian Giberson
Design by Elizabeth Story