And now for something a little different. Today's contribution to my short or shortish book theme is Flute of the Wind Queen.
I picked up this novella in a book review club on Goodreads where I received a free copy of the ebook in exchange for a review.
It caught my eye because of the worried looking guy with the big ears on the cover, but I didn't expect to find pictures inside. Not just one or two pictures, but several, meaningful and relevant full page illustrations fill the book. I thought it was a nice touch, and in this case, nicely done.
Later, when I went to post the review on Amazon, I found this funny author profile picture and write up for Eisah. I always enjoy finding gems like this.
Flute of the Wind Queen by Eisah
My rating: 4 of 5 stars
Fun and easy to read.
Flute of the Wind Queen is the debut story of Leander, a teen-aged Naggian whose greatest dream is to follow in the footsteps of his hero, Tevias, and become a reknowned treasure hunter. The story opens with Leander sneaking (not so stealthily) into a theatre basement hoping to find the lost Flute of the Wind Queen, a treasured relic of his country which disappeared when a neighboring country invaded.
But his inexperience and a crashing fall from rotting scafolding quickly attracts the attention of one of the actresses, who decides to let him go after a brief encounter. They meet up again a short time later by chance and decide that the flute must have been looted by the Geuranian army. Leander decides to risk a foray into enemy territory, and on a whim Ellora, the actress, decides to help him get there.
My favorite things about this story are the close calls, rookie mistakes and lucky breaks that Leander experiences. He's an imperfect hero just starting on his chosen path, so he isn't handed success. I also enjoy how he comes to understand that the world isn't all black and white, right and wrong, when he meets an irreverent Geuranian soldier who reveals that the "enemy" attacks on his city weren't completely unprovoked as Leander had always assumed they were.
I also enjoyed the illustrations. They were well done and complimented the story without distracting from it. One only one picture didn't quite match the vision that the words evoked in my mind. I won't say which due to spoilers but it didn't synch with my interpretation of what was going on.
Overall, the Flute of the Wind Queen is a quick, fun read. There are lessons, but they aren't too deep or heavy handed. And, Leander is a likeable fellow who I wouldn't mind following in future installments.
Note: I received a free copy of this book in return for an honest review.
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