Review – D M Cornish’s Foundling’s Tales (aka Monster Blood Tattoo)

It’s been some time (yeah, I’m the king of sweeping understatements around here) since I’d last reviewed any kind of novel – so I guess I must be pretty rusty. Still, I liked the books in this series a little too much and there should be a memo or something – a reminder, when November rolls around, to go and actually buy the third installment.

Synopsis – The plot revolves around Rosamund, a foundling – an orphan deserted at birth at the door of an orphanage. Growing up with the embarrassing name apt for only a girl, he suffers, bravely, the taunts of his peers. Loved by the adults around him for his brave and sweet disposition (though he’s useless in a fight) he nonetheless dreams of the day he’ll be selected as a Vinegaroon (a sailor, in plain words) and venture into the seas. Fate has something else in mind for him, however, and he gets selected by a Lamplighter’s Agent to enter into their ranks – to light the ways all over the empire, facing Bogles and Nickers and other monsters! And his parentage might not be all it seems…

The books are refreshingly original. The first book was a tad too short, but the second more than makes up for it in volume. The world-building is masterfully done, the hand-crafted words coming alive in their sounds and imagery. Monsters are aplenty, and not all of them nonhuman. The side characters are engaging and well-drawn, especially the female characters – Europe the Duchess-in-waiting, and Threnody the teenage Lady Vey. Numps the crippled Seltzerman and Sebastipole the falseman leave an impression. And the main character is drawn with unusual force. Add to that the wits and fulgars, women who can throw around lightnings or turn your brain into mush; falsemen who sift truth and lies with unerring accuracy, or leers with their animal strength and senses – all joined in humanity”s fight to battle the monsters who, on their part, attack back to avenge the betrayal everymen did to them… the book is light fantasy at its best!

Volume one and two, Foundling and Lamplighter, are out. Book three, Factotum, comes out in November. Waiting impatiently!

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About inkthief

A Hindu by birth and an Atheist by choice. An electronics engineer by education (or the lack thereof, but I blame the whiskey, really) and a programmer by vocation. A reader by addiction and a writer by compulsion. I'd like to be a nice person, and sometimes I am. I'd like to be sociable, and sometimes I am. I'd like to be Hemingway, but I'm still not. Waiting for the world to change, so I no longer need to - and so I can claim the credit. Cheers, folks. Worship me, for I can be a tolerant god and will accept beer in lieu of virginal sacrifices. ;-)
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