I was quite well rewarded for picking this book up. It reminded me so much of the Marigold books that I'd enjoyed so thoroughly. The story takes place in the Realm of Sundar, a medieval kingdom right out of a fairy tale. The main character is a young man named Jack (a pretty popular name among young men in stories, isn't it? =P), who from a very young age has loved to tell stories. And he's good at it too. So when he's ready to go out and seek his fortune, Jack has quite the interesting adventure.
All the characters are quite well developed, and I loved the writing style very much. Immediately I'm reminded of reading a fairy tale, or of having someone tell a story out loud to me. It's a wonderful tale that teaches about the power of love, staying true to yourself, and what lies in the heart of someone whose deepest wish is to tell stories to the people. Stories that will make their listeners laugh, cry... even sneeze. =P (No, really. He does make someone sneeze at one of his stories!)
I really liked this book, and it would have made my top favorites list, only the end part was a little bit so-so. Like, Jack is somehow corrupted by the royal politics, and he turns into little more than a puppet for the antagonists. (No, he wasn't literally a puppet. He just did whatever they told him without question for a while.) But somehow he gets his head back on straight and plays for the right side again. Still, it wasn't nice to see how the main character you grew to like could so easily be corrupted... And in the end there's a fascinating plot-twist that you never saw coming!
Anyway, besides that, I think this is a great book to read, especially for wannabe authors like myself. ^_^ Even though it's set in an old, fictional time, the principles of telling a good story seem to be the same. I know this book was a decent one, because when I read the very last page, I remember smiling, somewhat in appreciation of the story that was told to me.
This is now a book that my brother picked up. He seems to like it a lot. He's reading most of it, but Adam likes it when I read a couple chapters aloud to him. If there's anything I like better than reading books, it's reading them out loud to my younger brother. ^_^ I highly recommend this book, and this activity.