Hello, dear page dreamers! Oh boy, do I have a treat for you today!
DJ Edwardson’s fantasy novel, The Last Motley, is releasing in digital form today (paperback available too), and I’m here to tell you ALL about how you must drop everything and go read this amazing fantasy tale at once!
(And stay tuned at the end of this post for a link to the blogtour and giveaway currently going on to celebrate the release!)
But firstly, look at that stunning cover…
Title: The Last Motley
Author: DJ Edwardson
- Date read: January 16, 2018
- Rating: 5 stars
- Genre: Epic Fantasy / Christian
- Age: Any
- Year pub: 2018
- Pages: 424 (ebook)
- Fave character: I can’t decide; I love them all!
- Source: The author
- Notes: I received a free e-copy of this book from the author (thank you!). These opinions are entirely my own.
- Links: Amazon • Goodreads • Author’s Website
Well, here’s one for the favorite books list! Absolutely delightful fantasy, one of the best I’ve read! I loved it so much! ^_^
Here are 10 (ish) things I love about The Last Motley.
1. It’s familiar and new all at once. It feels like a classic sort of fantasy tale, while at the same time being quite unique and not at all what you’d think! There are a few plot twists near the end which kept me on my toes (one of them I’m not sure about, but I sort of saw it coming and I THINK I’m okay with it) and otherwise I have no complaints at all—I loved everything about this book!
2. It reminds me a bit of Lloyd Alexander or Tolkien—high praise from me. 😉 Not in a repetitive sort of way, but in an it’s-just-that-good kind of way, with some similar flavors, such as colorful characters like Lloyd Alexander, and the real sort of “feel” of the world, like Tolkien.
3. A lot of the story and characters are not at all what you’d expect! I won’t say much about the story, lest I spoil it, other than to say that there’s a quest (huzzah!) and much adventure and excitement. 🙂 It’s a wonderful journey/quest going on, and somehow manages to feel familiar but surprising at once, like the best fantasy tales. There’s a lingering mystery to it all too, which was fascinating, and the conclusion is very exciting! O_O
4. As for the characters—well, my favorites! Roderick is a surprising hero—he’s only a simple tailor (as he’s fond of reminding people), and all he really wants is to stay with his lovely wife and little daughter, but he finds himself off on a quest… and more than he bargained for! He’s a little like Bilbo or Sam Gamgee in that way (though unique from them, of course), goodhearted and rather out of place in the wide world, just wanting his quiet home, and family—but that of course makes him the BEST of heroes, in his own simple way. I LOVED Roderick! 😀 Also, I thought it was brilliant how he noticed things about people by their clothes; he’s a TAILOR, so naturally he’s an expert on this, and it was incredible how that worked into the story in subtle ways. (And I love how he says “Oh, buttons.” I think I may adopt this. XD)
5. Then we have other characters, which I will briefly mention but try not to give too much away—because you must go meet them in the book yourself! There’s the wise old men Jareth and Kendall, an independent young woman named Portia, and of course Nagan! Not much to say about Nagan other than that he’s absolutely HILARIOUS, and his lines are some of my favorites in the book, which also makes him one of my favorites to read about! He has SO much personality. XD Then, last but not least, we have the titular Motley, Jacob, a young boy who… well… SPOILERS… but he’s absolutely the most ADORABLE thing and I love him so much! I love ALL the characters, particularly all together. GAAH. *hugs them all*
6. There was a depth and strength to the story, with themes of faith and especially of family woven throughout. Roderick has a strong faith, which was wonderful to see evident throughout the book in his simple trust and prayers. LOVED those parts. Some of the elements were rich with truth and felt deep and rather like George MacDonald or C.S. Lewis. And some of the conclusions might take you by surprise, in the best way! I loved the subtle messages and themes I got out of it! 🙂 And the last couple of paragraphs were great.
7. One of the strongest things I got out of it was the focus on family. I LOVED that. You don’t get a lot of fantasy books (or, well, books in general) focusing on family this much. Roderick and his wife, Bethany, and their little daughter, are lovely, and I love how he’s so protective of little Jacob. Their relationship is simply the best! The way Roderick thinks of Bethany all the time and what she’d do or think or say, and just wants to go home to his family, warmed my heart and made me so happy. ^_^ It’s a family book and we need more of those. ❤ And talking of family: the book is suitable reading for the entire family, which pleases me muchly. There are a few rather scary fantasy-shadow parts with the villains, so very young children might find it a little scary, but otherwise it’s totally family friendly. 🙂
8. The fantasy world of Arinn was fascinating, and I felt instantly at home there. I want to see more of it! It was a joy traveling through it with the characters—I felt so much a part of its hills and forests and rivers etc. It felt so colorful (appropriately so) and alive and just—I don’t know! It’s very homey (despite the inevitable dangers of such worlds. ;)) and I love it! Also, it made me hungry; sooo much food. I need to eat some fruit now! XD
9. The writing is another one of my favorite things about this book. It’s clever and funny by turns, and the little comparisons or twists of phrase lent it an air of whimsical, wry humor, which I absolutely adored. I often enjoy the writing in books, but this one had an extra something special. 😀 I had to pause here and there to savor some brilliant turn of phrase. I felt like I was eating a rich cake, or something!
10. Did I mention it’s funny? Because it’s funny! Not always in a laugh-out-loud way, but between some of the writing, and certain of the characters—particularly Nagan—it sparkled with humor here and there and made it that much more pleasant to read. I always particularly value books that make me laugh—and this one brought tears to my eyes too at a couple of particularly beautiful, heartfilling parts near the end! ❤ (Speaking of the end—in the last chapter there was a reference, or possibly two, which absolutely MADE MY DAY. I don’t know if others will catch them but it had me grinning insanely. XD Inside jokes are the. best.)
To conclude, I loved everything about it! This is an absolutely delightful book, in every way possible—from the story, the writing, the CHARACTERS, the humor and emotion, to the family and faith element, the world, and just an extra level of rich SOMETHING which I can’t put my finger on but characterizes this as one of my new favorite books! ^_^
This is quality fantasy, right here.
I’m eagerly awaiting more from this author, and I HIGHLY recommend The Last Motley to anybody who loves a good fantasy tale—because this certainly is one, and more.
(A Few) Favorite Quotes
from The Last Motley by DJ Edwardson
“Is it time to go already?” Jacob rubbed the sleep from his eyes with the backs of his two little fists. “What’s that sound?”
“Wolves,” Roderick said. “Now up, up, it’s time for a quick bite and we’re off.”
“We’re having wolves for breakfast?” Jacob asked.
Roderick ruffled the top of Jacob’s head. “No, sleepy, that’s wolves howling off in the distance.”
“Regrettably, I must take my leave. I swear I shall never forget you gentle folk— or your smell— but my feet are calling me home.”
“And where would that be?” Kendall asked.
Nagan hesitated, scanning the horizon in several directions as if attempting to get his bearings. “That’s an interesting question,” he said finally.
“Afraid of trees, eh? I might just have to chop one down and wear it around my neck, then,” Nagan said.
“Of course it won’t be safe. But nothing is ever truly safe. Some things are just more dangerous than others.”
“And you’ll know peace, and joy, and the shadows will never come again.”
“Wonderful!” Nagan said. “How do you spell that?”
A pair of flashing red eyes blinked into existence at the far side of the ruins, weaving in and out amongst the crumbled stone.
“I have no idea,” Roderick said. “I can’t read.”
“And I can’t spell to save my life,” Nagan said. “Which, unfortunately, is more than just a figure of speech at the moment.”
~ ~ ~
What do you think? Aaah, this book! Does it intrigue you? Because it’s SO GOOD. ❤
There’s a blog tour for The Last Motley to celebrate its release, running from today through February 17, and there’s a sale and a giveaway and other fun things! So be sure to check it out! 😀