Wednesday, January 12, 2011

The Charlatan's Boy

This book will be welcomed by fans of Roger's previous WilderKing Trilogy, even though its relationship is uncertian. The vibrant feechiefolk of WilderKing have been reduced to legends. The young orphan Grady travels the wilds with the showman and hustler Floyd, participating in a series of frauds and tricks.
My main problem with the book is the episodic nature of the plot. While the various tricks of Floyd are amusing enough to keep young readers interested, Grady is a rather static character. Instead of actively searching for the truth about himself, he merely stumbles into a happy ending, as if the author grew tired of him.


  1. I think Rogers is aiming for a picaresque novel. According to Wikipedia: "The English-language term can simply refer to an episodic recounting of the adventures of an anti-hero on the road." While I don't consider Grady an anti-hero, Floyd certainly fits the description. Grady is not powerless but Floyd is all he has ever known and he stays with him even when offered a permanent home with the saloon keeper.

  2. I found your review of the book to be very well written, and the term you offered does seem to be a description of Grady's adventures. But it still frusterated me that his happy ending comes by sheer luck and being in the right place and the right time.