Tag: Fairies

Sir Arthur Conan Doyle – The White Company | Review

Title: The White Company

Author: Sir Arthur Conan Doyle

Type: Fiction

Page Count: 338

Rating: 3/5

This is some more of Sir Arthur Conan Doyle’s historic fiction, but unfortunately I didn’t quite find it as gripping as his Brigadier Gerard stories. I liked the accuracy and the research that he’d put in clearly comes across, but the plot itself wasn’t quite as gripping, perhaps because Sir Nigel Loring is less gripping than Gerard was. And both are pretty much standard old school colonialist types fighting for queen and country, which I can’t exactly relate to.

As you might expect from the creator of Sherlock Holmes, the plotting and the pacing was pretty good. Some of the dialogue was questionable because he spent a lot of time trying to imitate dialects etc, but overall it was readable enough. If anything, it was more the setting and the characters that held me back from loving it, although I did appreciate it for what it is.

There’s always something kind of fascinating about reading historical fiction that itself is historical, and I’ve always thought it was kind of cool that as well as writing the Holmes books, Conan Doyle also wrote The Lost World (a cracking read) and some historical fiction. Let’s just not talk about when he started to believe in fairies and stuff.

So this isn’t really something for the general reader, and it’s probably best avoided if you only know of Conan Doyle because of Holmes. If you’re a long-term fan and want to delve deeper into his work though, or if you’re particularly interested in historical fiction, it might be worth checking out.

For my part, I’m glad I read it, but I’m also glad that I read it as a bedtime book and so I didn’t have to spend huge chunks of time with it. I could dip in and out at will, often reading chapters instead of entire stories, so there was plenty there to enjoy – just over time.

Learn more about The White Company.

 


Terry Pratchett – The Wee Free Men | Review

Title: The Wee Free Men

Author: Terry Pratchett

Type: Fiction

Page Count/Review Word Count: 320

Rating: 8/10

 

Terry Pratchett - The Wee Free Men

Terry Pratchett – The Wee Free Men

 

The Wee Free Men is odd, because I didn’t think much of it when I first read it, and despite the fact that I haven’t re-read it since, I’ve grown fonder of it. Perhaps it’s because the titular characters made appearances in later books in the series, and because Rob Anybody and his gang of feegles somehow manage to be annoying and endearing at the same time. It takes a while to get past their brash exterior, but beneath all of the drinking and the fighting, they also have fiercely independent personalities.

This book is the first book to introduce the characters, as well as little Tiffany Aching, a young girl who would grow to become one of Pratchett’s most popular witches, and certainly one of his most popular from his later period of work – after all, I don’t want to go on record saying that someone is better than Granny Weatherwax in case I wake up as a frog.

The story line here follows Tiffany as she sets out to rescue her little brother from mischievous fairies, armed with a frying pan, a book called Diseases of the Sheep, and the help of the Nac Mac Feegle. With an arsenal like that, you’d have to give her pretty good odds, but Fairyland is a dangerous place, and not everyone comes back.

I don’t want to go into any more detail on that because I don’t want to ruin the story line, but that should be enough to give you an idea about whether you want to read it or not. The only thing to add here is that although this is, in some ways, a children’s book, I actually think it’s far more suited to adults. You should read it before giving it to your kids.

 

Terry Pratchett

Terry Pratchett

 

Click here to buy The Wee Free Men.