Reading is believing,
This review is from: Finder (Paperback)
When is a fantasy not a fantasy? When it's a possibility. When we read a fantasy & ask ourselves, if a fantasy world could be real, might it not be a little like this?
Finder by Terri-Lynne Defino has that edge: the `what if' factor. It is easy to suspend disbelief & enter into a world you can imagine yourself actually living in. You can imagine yourself knowing the characters & having [some of] them for friends. (You would cross the street to avoid a few, I promise you. And surely, one of the secrets to any good story lies in having a few disreputable characters?)
In essence, the story tells how Ethan, the eponymous `Finder' of lost things & lost people, is commissioned to find the runaway slave, Zihariel.
Fantasy is not my thing. I read JRR Tolkien back in the day & loved his writing. Since then, I have been wary of anything that smacks of plagiarism. I want my characters & my stories to have the Tolkien ring of truth but equally, I want them to be freshly authentic. No mean feat. And I want the themes I write about myself: love, loss, magic, secrets; sadness & redemption. In Finder, I found them all. Add excitement, adventure & elements of fantasy that kept me turning the pages, & colour me ridiculously enchanted.
The world the author creates is complex; her characters diverse. The issue of slavery isn't an easy one to address. She tackles it in a sympathetic & adult fashion. I began by liking Zihariel & ended up loving her.
In Ethan I met a male fantasy character I could believe in. I had half expected him to be much younger & I liked that he was largely a fully grown man - it added to the complexity of his character & made him more realistically vulnerable.
There are many strands to this tale which to my mind, is less a fantasy & more a love story. And this is not just Ethan's search for Zihariel; it is the story of how he finds himself. As do all good heroes.
If you love fantasy, you will love Finder. If you don't - surprise yourself. I know I did.