is a fantasy Coming of Age
novel written by Edward Myers that was published in 2008.
The novel is told using a Framing Device
with a grandfather telling his restless grandchild the tale of a great storyteller named Jack. Jack is a humble farm boy from a small village called Yorrow, who is known for telling fascinating tales for his family and other people in the village. On the day he turns seventeen, he decides to leave his hometown to seek his fortune as a storyteller in the royal city Callati. During his journey he meets a sardonic talking bird named Loquastro, a one eyed thief, and an icy yet beautiful princess.
The work contains a lot of Nested Stories
given that Jack is telling stories and listening to other's stories.
Tropes that are featured in this novel
- Constantly Curious: The grandchild is constantly asking the grandfather various questions about the story in the start of every chapter.
- Death By Child Birth: The queen died shortly after giving birth to her fourth child, Yoss.
- Farm Boy: Jack starts out as a humble farm boy in the rural village of Yorrow.
- I Am Not Weasel: Loquastro (a mynah bird) despises being mistaken for a crow.
- Interspecies Romance: Loquastro, the mynah bird, falls in love with the fish princess Artemisia. The only reason why they couldn't be together is obviously because Loquastro can't swim and Artemisia can't breathe air.
- No Name Given: The grandchild, for some reason, doesn't have a name (or definite gender for that matter).
- Massively Numbered Siblings: Jack is the eldest of six children.
- Once Upon a Time: Subverted: When the grandfather starts to tell the story, he begins with "Once upon a time..." but his grandchild stops him by saying that they are tired of stories always beginning that way and asks him to try starting the story another way.