Monday, December 06, 2010

The Charlatan's Boy by Jonathan Rogers

The Charlatan's Boy by Jonathan Rogers is a return to the land of Corenwald and did I mention...FEECHIES!! Now, I've just told you enough to buy the book right there, but in case you didn't know what a Feechie is (how uncultured can one be?) then these fellers dwell in the swamps of Corenwald, wear skins, are covered in gray mud, and resemble the most backwood, imbred people you've ever heard of (do I hear banjos playing?)

However, the Feechie folk are also some of the most fun characters to read, that I've found in any recent fiction. The Charlatan's Boy is no exception. Only this time, we have a young ugly duckling who has spent his life as a sideshow act as the Wildman from the Feechifen Swamp. We get an up close and personal look at the life of this boy--his joys and disappointments--as he travels with lowdown medicine man type who's only interest in the boy is how much coin he get off of exploiting him.

There's a great finish to this story that promises more to come...what are you waiting for? Go get! Did I mention it's got FEECHIES in it?!


Jonathan Rogers said...

Feechies AND cowboys. To my knowledge, James, The Charlatan's Boy is the first book ever to have both feechiefolks and cowboys. Even pirates make a very brief appearance.

Thanks for your enthusiasm and encouragement, James.

Rebecca LuElla Miller said...

Well, James, you just might have given Jonathan fodder for his next book!

Great post. Feechies are some of the best figures in today's literature! That's my belief anyway. Glad to know someone else is as enthusiastic as I am.


Sarah Sawyer said...

Feechies are certainly enough to convince me to buy any book! And this one was well worth the read.

James Somers said...

A question for Jonathan: Does Grady live earlier or later than the feechies found in your Wilderking Trilogy?

Jonathan Rogers said...

Great question, James. The Charlatan's Boy probably feels a little later than the Wilderking books...after all, there's a little medieval feel to the Wilderking books (castles, armor, etc), whereas The Charlatan's Boy feels more 19th century. But in Corenwald's timeline, The Charlatan's Boy actually happens a generation or two earlier than the Wilderking.

In the Wilderking, Darrow is the first king of Corenwald. In The Charlatan's Boy, there is no king. Notice that in the scenes set in Tambluff, there's no mention of Tambluff Castle. But the castle dominates the city in the Wilderking books.

The truth is that it's not quite consistent. In the Wilderking we learn that Aidan's grandfather (or was it great-grandfather?) had come over with the first group of settlers. Even if Grady lived only one generation before Aidan and Dobro, there wouldn't have been time for all those villages to get settled in Corenwald. On top of that, add the fact that in the Youth and Beauty scheme, the "80-year-old" Barbary claims to have been among the earliest settlers.

I was aware of those inconsistencies, but I decided that I could live with them. I had specific things I wanted to do in The Charlatan's Boy and they would have been hard to do if I had worked to hard to stay consistent. So the Wilderking books are consistent within themselves, and The Charlatan's Boy and its follow-on will be consistent with one another.

In my defense, let me say that there are glaring inconsistencies between various Narnia books.

James Somers said...


I hope Feechie fans are paying special attention to Grady's real name at the end of the book...that's all I'm going to say, except that I can't wait to read the next installment when it comes...hopefully next year.