Book: The Magic Crystal by L.T. Suzuki
Alone: Series, The Dream Merchant Saga Book OneFirst Line: "Ooow! You are torturing me!" These are the pained and angry words that echo across the fair lands of Fleetwood to break the tranquil dawn and accost early morning travellers near and far. No, it is not the anguished wails of a prisoner being lashed deep within the castle dungeon; it is merely Princess Rose being readied to meet the day."
Description: Be careful what you wish for takes on a whole new meaning…
When a good wish goes bad, a beautiful princess despised by all, a lowly court jester who was meant to be a great knight and a village idiot with a mysterious past are thrust together by fate. Made to embark on a perilous and unorthodox quest, they set off to break a dreaded curse.
Along the way, a series of trials await them in strange lands far from home. From a powerful Wizard and a shape-shifting Sprite to the flamboyant Elves and an army of mimes, they encounter an array of unforgettable friends and foes as they set off to recover a silver locket to destroy the curse.
In a race against time, pursued by a Sorcerer on the hunt for this same locket, an epic journey becomes a trying, humorous adventure of self-discovery and a test of true loyalty and friendship for this unlikely trio as they fight to survive this quest and ultimately, each other.
The Magic Crystal is a comedic high fantasy; complete with drunken “manty-hose” wearing elves, trolls who are terrified of the dark, an evil sorcerer who loves mimes and tons of other outrageous creatures.This incredible book was absolutely hilarious - I cannot tell you how many times I found myself literally laughing out loud. I had to worst time maintaining a straight face while I was trying sneak in some pages during classes.
The characters are all incredibly priceless – they all have individual quirks that you are going to love. Even the snobbish Princess is a complete hoot in all of her self-centered glory. Princess Rose is perfectly dreadful; she is rude, demanding, self-centered, self-absorbed and downright rotten. Basically, she is a character you will absolutely love to hate. You cannot help but marvel in her brashness; she is a force to reckon with and she is undeniably entertaining. I must say, I honestly enjoyed seeing Roses’ progression throughout the story – it was incredible well done, because it doesn’t seem forced. She maintains true to form for the entire book and her progression into a somewhat caring person is slow and persistent. She doesn’t magically change overnight, which I really appreciate.
Next we have Tagius “Tag” Yairet gets himself roped into joining the Princess on her quest and he proves to be just as entertaining as Rose. He is the only person who dares to stand up to her and he just lives to goad her. The two of them butt heads quite frequently and their banter is always undeniably comical. Tag fancies himself a Knight, so he is always trying to be the brave one and do the right thing. Much to his dismay, there are a few times when the Princess outsmarts him or outperforms him in an activity and he left speechless.
Rounding out the unlikely trio is Cankles; the village idiot. Rose and Tag pickup Cankles early on in their quest and he ends up being a huge help to them. Rose is quick to dismiss their rather slow acquaintance, but that does not stop Cankles from being a faithful friend to her. His ignorance does not bother him in the slightest and he lets her snide comments roll right off his back. Despite the fact that his elevator doesn't seem to go all the the top, Cankles definitely has his moments of wisdom. He is the one who finally talks some sense into Rose and often gets the trio out of uncomfortable situations by defusing the tension.
The storyline is well-developed, entertaining and easy to follow. This book has everything you could ever imagine; sorcerers, tooth faeries, trolls, dwarves, elves and so much more. It is extremely well written and has a direct line to your funny bone. The characters are all unique and memorable and the dialog is charming and witty.
The ending satisfied me, because it was clean enough to wrap things up, but it also left an opening for the next story. Enough of the problems were resolved to tide readers over until the release of the sequel. The Magic Crystal is so incredibly off-the-wall and offbeat it is literally impossible not to enjoy it. Fans of Alex Flinn’s Cloaked and William Goldman’s classic, The Princess Bride are sure to love it.
“For pity’s sake, shut your royal gob and stop with the incessant screaming!” he demanded, pressing a finger to his lips for silence. “It’s damned annoying.”
“You are nuttier than a fruitcake, that’s what you are!”
“Knowing the Princess was forced to swallow her pride, and it was probably so big it could choke a horse, Tag decided to honour his vow to assist her.”
“Sensing this man had issued a challenge, Rose was not about to be outdone by a village idiot.”
“I will only admit she does not make the average man’s eyes bleed, so she is not ugly in the physical sense.”
“look here you old, painted hussy! I am neither a tart, a trollop, nor am I a strumpet! I am a lady of refined breeding and culture, so bugger off, before this little poppet pops you one in that ugly, wrinkled mug!”
“Since when do princesses go on quests? They are the ones who remain safely locked away in towers playing the role of damsel-in-distress!”
“I’d say true friendship is worth fighting for.”
“I will not be fooled again. The next cute bunny limping my way will get it!”