Sunday, 7 November 2010

Philip Caveney - A Buffalope's Tale ( Sebastian Darke) - Book Review

                                       A Buffalope's Tale (Sebastian Darke)
Max, the talking buffalope, has an enquiring mind, a keen sense of humour, and a grumpy disposition. Orphaned by the villainous Neruvians, sold off as a slave to the callous Berundians, he escapes into the wilderness, is attacked by vicious lupers, and rescued in the nick of time by the jester, Alexander Darke. 

Alexander is young and fairly unsuccessful. Done out in a costume of many colours, he totes his caravan around, entertaining people with (mostly bad) jokes. Max settles in with Alexander and his elvish wife, Sarah. He makes himself indispensable and the partnership prospers. Word gets around, and a Royal Command Performance is arranged. They are top of the bill. But everything that can go wrong goes wrong.... hilarously. The hitherto lugubrious King Cletus is enchanted. Stars overnight, they see off their arch-rival, the bad comic Jonathan Jolly. 

Philip Caveney's new book is to be published by the small independent publishing company, Book Guild, who are based in Brighton. This publishing company take great pride in choosing the best stories to be published. Therefore, the overall production is of the highest quality - each book is an item to cherish and love. Plus each book looks great on any bookshelf with its highly appealing book cover.

This author is most famous for his best-selling series "Sebastian Darke". This book is the prequel to the already published three adventures.  We are able to follow the charismatic and lovable character of Max, who is featured in this series as Sebastian's shaggy sidekick. However, through this story we get time to hear Max, who tells his own story in his own unique and interesting style.

It really is a great journey of tragedy and mischief, which is portrayed throughout this epic tale.  Max is living out his young life on the Great Plains of Neruvia, setting out every year with his family and large number of buffalopes, who are on the great annual migration to the South west hills of Torin. However, Max doesn't quite see the point in this migration and would prefer to have a little more adventure in his life. But then one day, a big life-changing adventure comes his way and changes everything forever. Sickness takes hold of the travelling herd; starting to kill them off one by one. As a result Max, his dad and mum attempt to make a break for survival. Even though everything could, and eventually does, go wrong.

This book really surprised me, I finished it with a gallop. In fact when the last page was turned, I was hoping for more. It is a humorous read, sparkling with great nuggets of adventure, sadness and joy. Whilst the slapstick comedy from Max makes the story a purely magical experience.

Book Published By Book Guild Publishing - 25 Nov 2010

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Fine piece of work and as a longstanding Seb fan a welcome addition to the canon, looking forward to the Formby Launchette