Thursday, November 7, 2019

Son of Spellsinger

Son of Spellsinger.jpg

Alan Dean Foster’s penultimate Spellsinger story opens with Talea, married to spellsinger Jon-Tom, finding a demon in a breadbox, after which she deals with her son Buncan, given his flawed singing voice and intentions to follow his father’s footsteps. Buncan starts a rap band with the son and daughter of the otters Mudge and Weegee, Squill and Neena, who practice in the woods, inadvertently summon a whale from a larger body of water, and make it a point to find an artifact known as the Grand Veritable, joining the sloth Gragelouth on a journey to find the MacGuffin.

During their journey, Buncan and company encounter hostile hounds for whom they summon mates in heat using their spellsinging abilities, and spend some time in the rodent-populated town of Hygria, which has a special eye for hygiene, and they find themselves prisoners. Neena is ultimately asked to spend time with the mink Baron Koliac Krasvin, with her companions mounting a rescue with the help of the drunken rhinoceros Snaugenhutt. They then encounter the tribe Xi-Murogg, who fertilize their crops with the blood and bones of their enemies, and marsupials who warn of experimental Dark Monks.

The Grand Veritable turns out to be a lie-detecting device that causes chaos during the last few chapters until it is found by a group from Earth. Overall, this is another enjoyable entry in Foster’s Spellsinger franchise, with plenty of memorable animal characters and good action, with mature content that somewhat makes it Redwall for older audiences. There are occasional plot elements that are unclear such as the influence of rap music in the alternate world when the series commenced back in the early 1980s prior to the musical genre’s introduction, but it’s still a good read.

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