Thursday, January 19, 2012

Review: Prince of Fools by Philip Caveney

Sebastian Darke: Prince of Fools
Title: Prince of Fools
Author: Philip Caveney    
Publisher: Delacorte Books for Young Readers
Publication Date: April 8th 2008
Pages: 372 pages
Genre: Young Adult Fairytale
Series: Sebastian Darke #1
Source: Mass Paperback  


The lord of Laughter, the Monarch of Mirth–if only the bumbling 17-year-old Sebastian Darke could be a successful jester like his father. The problem is Sebastian’s not funny. But after his father’s death, with no choice but to beg in the streets, the half-human, half-elf teen sets off with Max, his father’s slightly cynical Buffalope, to offer his services as a jester to King Septimus of Keladon. On the way they meet Captain Cornelius Drummel, small in stature, but the fiercest of fighters. The three rescue the fair princess Kerin, who’s being held captive by brigands, and happily escort her home. If only Sebastian knew the kidnapping was engineered by the evil King Septimus!

This book was a book club read from the teen book club at my local library. I was not sure what I was getting into when I received it; however by the book summary on the back of the book, it sounded entertaining.

The story is a classic fairytale with setting and creatures from a fantasy. Sebastian Darke who starts on a quest with his buffalope to the kingdom to apply for the job of the court jester. His father was a great jester and Sebastian hoped to fill father’s large shoes after his father’s death. The only problem… He is not funny. Along the way he picks up a few odd characters and ends up rescuing a princess. This act brings on a whole new mess that Sebastian and his friends have to figure a way out of. 

The writing of this book is easy and fast paced and spellbinding. It reads just like any fairytale but with a bit of a comical twist. I was able to read it quickly, keeping up with the humor, the antics, the danger, the romance, and everything else that was thrown into this story. 

I just loved the characters in this book. There were quite a few good ones. The characters from the story include a princess, a soldier, a jester, a buffalope, and the villains. The characters are very vivid and all of a different variety. The jester is half elf and half human, the princess is human, the soldier is a little creature with a baby face, the buffalope is a talking creature between a buffalo and an antelope (I would assume) and the villains are from humans to Lupes. 

Sebastian Darke wants to be a jester and as hard as he tries, he just isn't funny. The book does contain some of his jokes as he attempts them on his friends. Even though his jokes are not funny, I tended to laugh out loud at them because they were just that bad. I admired Sebastian's persistence. This was by far his best quality he did have some other good ones too, bravery, loyalty, and kindness. 

Along the way Sebastian meets up with the soldier who joins the quest. The soldier was recently told he could not be in the guard of his kingdom because of a new height restriction. He headed out to the next kingdom in attempt to join their guard. This is the same kingdom where Sebastian is headed. The soldier may be small but he can really kick some tail. He is pretty awesome really. Further along the way they have to save the princess on her way home to the same kingdom. The princess is a very pretty girl of 16 turning 17 in a couple of days, but spoiled and mean. I would like to say that my favorite character is the buffalope. He is quite sarcastic, intelligent, and humorous. 

The journey is a very short part of the book, but it is where we get to know these characters. This is really the only point to this part. The next part is longer and involves the villains. As with many fairytales there is treachery involved and I was able to spot it from the beginning. Throughout the story, the soldier, the jester, and the buffalope become the hero of the princess, more than once.

The story did not include any surprises but I did not mind. It was simply a fun fairytale with fun characters. It was an easy read and very enjoyable but not a lot of meat. This is part of a trilogy and I plan to check the other out the following two books. 


Philip Caveney
Philip Caveney was born in North Wales in 1951. The son of an RAF officer, he spent much of his childhood travelling the length and breadth of Britain and spent several years in Malaysia and Singapore.
He attended the Kelsterton College Of Art where he obtained a diploma in Graphic Design. Whilst there, he became drummer (and latterly vocalist) with rock band, Hieronymus Bosch.
After leaving college, he worked extensively in theatre both in London and Wales and wrote the lyrics for rock adaptations of The Workhouse Donkey and Oscar Wilde’s Salome.
His first novel, The Sins Of Rachel Ellis, was published in 1976.

1 comment:

  1. I have been wondering all day if I am falling for APril Fools joke, if I am Okie Dokie, I read this review so it is probably for real. May you have a wonderful day


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