|Posted by jtcheyanne on June 14, 2015 at 3:50 PM|
Hosted by Eyes on Books
Title: Fool School
Author: James Comins
Genre: Young Adult, gay romance, historical
Publisher: Wayward Ink Publishing
In the year of our Lord 1040, fourteen-year-old aspiring jester Tom is en route to Bath to begin his studies in the art of being a Fool, following in the footsteps of his father, and his father before him.
Along the way he meets Malcolm, a fire-haired boy with eyes green as forest glass. A Scotsman who's escaped from the ravages of the usurper Macbeth, Malcolm elects to join Tom at school. Though the journey to Bath is hazardous, it pales in comparison to what they face at the austere and vicious Fool School, where all is not as it seems. A court jester must aim to be the lowest rung on the ladder of life, and the headmaster will not abide pride.
As they journey through life's hardships together, Tom and Malcolm find they only have each other to depend upon.
Fool School. The title suggests a tale of laughter and fun; however, the tale inside the cover visits the darker side of life as seen through a fourteen year old man-child's eyes. The story starts with Tom Motley leaving France to attend the Fool School in Bath, England. It is a family tradition followed by his father and his grandfather before him.
Although I am not usually a fan of first person, Tom's story intrigued me from the beginning. He invites the reader into his life and paints pictures so vivid you find yourself standing beside him watching as the waves whitecap, or smelling the pitiful illness of the pony. The author has a flare for the descriptive phrases and skillfully brings to the page the lifestyles in historical England. I felt I was there at the fair waiting expectantly for the fools to perform.
Throughout the tale, Tom struggles with his Catholic faith. No being of Catholic origins, the insight into the faith and the struggle Tom experiences in dealing with his perceived sin captivated me. The lessons are there without being preachy or tedious.
If any of the events in Tom's journey were meant to be symbolic, I'm afraid that like Tom and Malcolm, I failed to see it; however, I did sense an underlying thread. It was not the actions and situations in Tom's journey that molded him; instead, it was his reactions to what was happening around him that affected how he felt about himself and his faith. I enjoyed his lapses into the imagined outcomes and then the turnaround to the reality of what happened. Most of us do this when faced with situations that make us uncomfortable and the author portrayed the dilemmas in such a way a reader is able to connect with Tom and his struggles.
Overall , I enjoyed the story. It's not romance or action/adventure. Its the story of a young boy finding his way into maturity. The only complaint, it ended too abruptly. There was no closure for me. It seemed the author decided he was done writing and just stopped. I hope that there will be a second book as I am curious what happens to Tom and Malcolm and their gypsy cages. Is Robert of York as sinister as they are lead to believe? Does Tom finish Fool School? I find myself rooting for poor Tom and would like to know how his story turns out.
Amazon US: http://www.amazon.com/dp/B00XE3Z9VA/
Amazon UK: http://www.amazon.co.uk/dp/B00XE3Z9VA/
Amazon AU: http://www.amazon.com.au/dp/B00XE3Z9VA/
Amazon DE: http://www.amazon.de/dp/B00XE3Z9VA/
Prizes: $20 WIP Gift Card and 1 ebook copy of Fool School
Link to giveaway: http://www.rafflecopter.com/rafl/display/d3e3d66a27/
About the author
JAMES COMINS is incapable of writing about himself in the third person. His future autobiography will probably be titled, “The Man Who Groaned His Way Toward Death.” He writes stories for children and adults.
Born down the street from Stephen King, he now divides his time between Denver and Seattle.
JAMES COMINS can be found at:
Categories: Book Review