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Reviewed by Emily-Jane Hills Orford for Readers' Favorite
In The Tinker, The Mage and The Princess: Tales Told by a Tinker Volume 1 by H. D. Bobb Jr., there are three kingdoms with varying degrees of magic, but their use has dwindled over time. Balzar was the kingdom with the most magic as all forms were accepted. In Sulan, magic was tolerated, but not encouraged. King Ferdinand of Autry banned magic in any form and hunted and eliminated anyone who dared practice magic in his kingdom. A Tinker, Nathan, wanders the realms in search of the Tinker Homeland. On his way, Nathan discovers a wounded girl whom he heals. She then accompanies him on his travels and gradually manages to communicate with him, sharing her story. There is considerable unrest between the kingdoms and the Silver Tower, where mages train, and war is declared on King Ferdinand of Autry. As the conflict escalates, Nathan continues his quest, helping those in need while living in a magical coach that is much bigger inside than out. All this is PawPaw’s story, the one he shares with his children, his grandchildren, and his great-grandchildren.
H.D. Bobb Jr.’s fantasy The Tinker, The Mage, and The Princess is the first of a new series. The story is told in the comforting narrative style of a well-versed storyteller. There is very little dialogue, mostly descriptive narrative. The plot follows several tangents but mostly focuses on Nathan, the Tinker, and his travels. It reads like a great quest such as one would follow in Jonathan Swift’s Gulliver’s Travels or the many folk legends and stories surrounding King Arthur and the Search for the Holy Grail. The tale begins and ends with PawPaw’s connection to the newest generation who visit him and listen to him. The plot unravels as the storyteller weaves his magic with words, and the spell captures the spirit and imagination of the young minds who listen. The best part was the ending and I loved it! This is a classic folktale, fantasy, legend – a great story for all ages.