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Reviewed by Jack Magnus for Readers' Favorite
Jabberwocky is a coming of age quest fantasy written by Theodore Singer. Astreus has always lived in the House of the Jabberwock, as have his ancestors for the last five hundred years. His family's history is intertwined with that of the mythical beast, the Jabberwock, whose visage is carven and woven throughout the gloomy castle in the woods. When he turns 16, as the direct descendant of the line of his family, Astreus is made privy to the ceremony of the Quest. His father brings down the Vorpal Sword from its place on the wall of the Great Hall and charges him with the Quest. And, as his forebears have all done, Astreus accepts that charge and holds the great sword aloft. His father has no idea that Astreus sees more than symbolism in this ceremony and, upon reaching his eighteenth year, will set out upon the Quest in earnest, returning only after the beast has been slain.
Theodore Singer's epic fantasy novella, Jabberwocky, reminded me of how much I loved quest fantasies when I was a young adult. I would scour bookstores and libraries for the works of George MacDonald, Lord Dunsany and Mervyn Peake, and spend hours delightedly following young heroes as they set out upon their Quests. That early magic was rekindled as I read Jabberwocky. I followed Astreus as he battled fear and uncertainty and sometimes despair, and delighted with him at the beauty, adventure and enchantment he encountered along the way. Singer's writing is lucent and rich, and his imaginative tale is a sheer delight to read. Jabberwocky is a most impressive debut offering by this author, and I hope to be reading more of his work in the future. Jabberwocky: A Novella is most highly recommended.