I haven’t a clue how to properly talk about this fabulous book so . . . basically, expect some pterodactyl shrieking in this review!
Title: A Most Irregular Prophecy
Author: Ness Kingsley
Planetary Fantasy • YA, ish? • Published 2021 • 322 pages (paperback)
Read May 12, 2022 • 5 stars • Fave character: Mr Sorrow • I received a no-pressure free e-book ARC of this book from the author and voluntarily wrote a review; all opinions are my own.
WHAT DID I JUST READ? I haven’t the faintest notion, to be honest, but I do know that it was GLORIOUS and a smashing good time! And yes, I do intend to talk in a faintly posh manner this entire review — blame it on the book, why don’t you! (You should. The book is entirely at fault. Fabulously so.)
At any rate, here are my discombobulated flailings and/or pterodactyl shrieks about exactly WHY you should find a copy of this book somewhere and devour it post-haste!
Firstly, we must discuss the genre. Genre? WHAT IS GENRE, I ASK! *unhinged laughter* (Ahem. This is . . . I suppose . . . fantasy, on a foreign planet, with a Victorian-era heroine and a character from modern day too. Essentially planetary fantasy with dashes of portal fantasy, but throughout time?? What does genre matter when it’s this delightful is all I’d like to know.)
Secondly, as to the matter of my favorite character: What a ridiculous question. Who’s asking these questions, anyway? (Oh, wait, that would be me.) Oh, all right, my favorite is MR SORROW, naturally (he and his — well, green eyes but with, like, the spirit of a grey-eyed Heyer hero, are superb), but Vi and Rugby are also fabulous.
Now that these important questions have been addressed, I find myself QUITE AT A LOSS as to how to discuss this wondrous and unusual tale. This is a sort of Georgette-Heyer-meets-Enchanted-Forest-Chronicles-on-a-fantasy-planet-with-a-dash-of-Diana-Wynne-Jones book, and it’s just as delightful as that makes it sound.
From our heroine, Vi, who narrates the book in a deliciously dry and amusing fashion (I tell you, Ness Kingsley’s writing is SHEER BRILLIANCE and every sentence is a JOY to read), to the Thrawk characters (which are sort of Pegasus-type creatures with telepathy and Rugby especially is my favorite, but also THEY HAVE GREAT NAMES like Tennis), to Mr Sorrow who is a surprising sort of scholar and somewhat drily amused and scathing in the best possible way . . . these pages are inhabited by stupendous characters whose witty banter absolutely makes my day.
Throw in an almost dystopic sci-fi-fantasy society which one loves to hate, a prophecy that goes haywire, some screaming rain, several mishaps gallivanting all over the place, numerous ridiculous characters who are alarming with their ineptitude and simultaneous ability to make things Truly Horrendous for our heroes, as well as some depressed unicorn-pegasus creatures, a dash of monsters such as the Natterdash *ominous music*, and did I mention the screaming rain? Also TWISTS GALORE. You may gasp. Several times. I know I did.
The plot is at turns whimsical, hilarious, intense, and surprisingly dark later on, in fact, and yet I was glued to the page for the entire tale! (Not literally glued. That would be rather inconvenient for turning pages.) It is at times not for the faint of heart due to some truly horrendous characters, as noted, but it’s absolutely worth it and I was Supremely Attached to these heroic characters such as Vi and Mr Sorrow and Rugby. (Supremely Attached as opposed to glued-not-literally. There we are.)
My ability to express the sheer enjoyment level of this bafflingly strange and yet hilarious and brilliant book is simply not adequate. I can only say that I ABSOLUTELY ADORED IT and hope that gets across somewhat my love for this book and how unexpected and unique it is. And so funny, too! I ADORE books that make me laugh, and this one absolutely did. The lovable characters and genre-bending suspense are the icing on the cake. But you really must discover it for yourself!
It must be confessed that I committed the nearly-unforgivable bookish atrocity of dogearing several of this book’s pages to mark my favorite hilarious bits. And by “several” I here mean “approximately half of the total pages in the book.” (YOU THINK I’M JOKING? Ha. Far from it. It’s simply SO QUOTABLE and had me rolling with laughter or at the very least internal chuckles for most of the book.)
To save me the trouble (and the questionable legality) of sharing approximately half of the book here in quote form, the reader is recommended to immediately acquire a copy of A Most Irregular Prophecy and to experience the zany delight of this book at once.
I received a free e-book ARC of this book from the author (with, let it be noted, ZERO PRESSURE to review it, positively or otherwise). (I also, it must be admitted, later snagged a paperback off Amazon and actually mostly read that copy, but DETAILS.) At any rate, all opinions are my own, so there.
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