This starts with a murder. However, we’re not really led to feel anything about the character who’s being tortured to death, so it’s really more of a footnote in the plot. I mean, it’s the starting footnote, but it’s not IMPORTANT. Except for the person who’s being eaten. Probably he considers it important.
ANYWAYS. There is a murder. But we mainly HEAR about it because John is on the train to visit his tutor, and then when he gets OFF the train he’s met by the police who want to talk to him about his dead tutor. One thing leads to another, and then he’s stuck in a club in London with two new chaps, names of Charles and Jack. (Jack LEWIS and Charles WILLIAMS? Eh? Eh? And he’s John TOLKIEN? Get it? Get it?*elbows*)
Then basically one of the Grimm brothers shows up to leak water all over the doorstep and tell them they need to flee town on a dragon, captained by his daughter the pirate queen, and she just so happens to be waiting down at the wharf did I mention the Wendigo who are waiting outside to eat you? Alive?
CSL, JRRT and CW decide to leave. Now. A dragon sounds like a great idea!
Then they go to Avalon and meet the green knight and some fates with a stew of doom. There is also a man. Boy. Is he the-lost-heir-to-the-throne, evil-traitor-in-waiting, or boy-on-the-verdge-of-becoming-a-man? Only time will tell!
Once leaving the Arthurian reference behind, we visit Narnian references, Wonderland, Jules Verne, and sundry greek myths. Also a faint biblical touch, mixing Lot and Noah together into a DELICIOUS STEW.
I liked it- I think? The literary references were lots of fun, I just usually like a book to contain more in the way of plot and less in the way of “I just included five books in one chapter, oh, the cleverness of me!”
Which was a literary reference. Why yes, I DO take hypocritical pills every morning, thank you for asking. But yeah, the plot just didn’t impress me, tragically enough. I think the fact that I learned we were reading about the INKLINGS in the first chapter set my sights too high? I expected immense complexity and depth out the ying-yang. I didn’t get it.
I gave it three stars out of five. However, I actually read this at one go, while standing in front of a rack of power cables, which just might have contributed to my mindset while reading. I was waiting for my sister, who was waiting for some exiling shop boy to look up information about her phone. (He didn’t find anything.) And it was hot. I mean, whew, nothing like dusty cables for two hours to make you loosen your collar!