Wednesday, April 15, 2015

The Whisperer by Fiona McIntosh

Lute is the prince but he's not that impressed by it.  His uncle, however, is obsessed with becoming King and he can't do that if Lute is in his way...

Knopf Books for Young Readers and Edelweiss gave me the opportunity to read this book (thank you).  It has just been published, so you can grab a copy now.

When his uncle tries to kill him for the third time, he and his guard make a run for it.  It's too late for his parents but Lute has to survive to become King.  He's certainly not prepared to be on his own with the scallywags of the world.  Who would have guessed a dwarf and a huge thug would be his heroes?

On the other side of the country, Griff is a carnival worker who likes doing the grunt work.  It keeps him away from people and lets him have his own thoughts.  Hearing other people's thoughts is intrusive and tells him things he doesn't want to know.  Unfortunately, the carnival owner finds out about his skill and wants to cash in.

One more very important character is Tess.  She's an animal handler and can mind speak with them.  And she only owns fantastic animals.  They are the animals from myth and fantasy and they love Tess but that's the only human they like.  Until they meet Griff.  He's OK.

When the carnival owner gets greedy and makes plans to force them to work for him, they decide to run.  This where it gets interesting.  Griff finds he hear the thoughts of a young boy about his age who is in trouble.  That happens to be the prince.  And soon, while both are still on the run, they decide to meet and travel together.

It's no easy feat being on the road alone with just some strange animals and one adult.  But Griff persists.  And so does Lute.

I really, really liked this story.  It read fast, was fascinating and I love Ms. McIntosh's imagination.  This book was a "just right fit" for my reading habits and I'll be watching for more of her work.

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