The Charlatan’s Boy by Jonathan Rogers

Word Lily review

The Charlatan’s Boy: A Novel by Jonathan Rogers (Waterbrook, October 5, 2010), 320 pages

Summary
Grady (no last name, just Grady) lives on the road, playing his part in Floyd’s scheme of the moment. (His favorite role: He-Feechie, of the Feechiefen Swamp.) It’s the only life Grady’s ever known. But questions niggle; where did he come from? what were his parents like?

Thoughts
Disclaimer: I met author Jonathan Rogers at Hutchmoot, although I don’t think I had an actual conversation with him. He did a reading from this book.

A really fun, imaginative tale. I love the simultaneous Southern and English feel of the story. It’s labeled as a young adult story, but I’d say it could go middle grade, pretty easily.

Grady is a great character, very sympathetic. So very earnest, too.

It’s written in dialect, which can sometimes be annoying or feel off, but in this case it just adds to the (swampy, thick) atmosphere.

This book is published by a Christian publishing house, but it’s not one of those books that really center on the Christian life. It does, however, focus on big questions — Who am I? Why am I here? Where did I come from?

I quite enjoyed this book. The story and the telling itself are both fun, engaging. I’d almost say heartwarming too, but it’s not sticky sweet, not at all. This is one of those books I can recommend to anyone.

Oh, one more thing: While this book is definitely fantasy, the story is so down to earth, relatable, it transcends that label.

About the author
Jonathan Rogers is the author of The Wilderking Trilogy (The Bark of the Bog Owl, The Secret of the Swamp King, and The Way of the Wilderking) as well as a (more scholarly, I assume) book on Saint Patrick. He’s also among the Rabbit Room contributors.

Other reviews
A Christian Worldview of Fiction
My Friend Amy
Whispers of (a new) Dawn
Shannon McDermott
Sarah Sawyer
Have you reviewed this book? Leave me a link and I’ll add it here.

I received this book from the publisher. I am an Amazon Associate and receive a small commission on sales through my affiliate links.

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5 responses to “The Charlatan’s Boy by Jonathan Rogers

  1. You used earnest! What do you mean by it? It’s a word I’ve never used, except as a name, so I don’t have a feel for it.

    I enjoyed this book as well. 😉 Did you guess the ending?

    • I guess when I use earnest I mean the dictionary definition: resulting from or showing sincere and intense conviction. I think sincerity and vulnerability are big parts of earnestness, to me.

      Re: the ending, now I’m trying to remember. I don’t think I was fully convinced of the ending very early on, but I do think I guessed it before the big reveal. Did you?

  2. Interesting. See when I looked that up, I didn’t see it as a bad thing, but I’ve definitely seen an attitude of “earnestness is bad” this year.

    Yes, I suspected it from the beginning, but he did make me doubt myself! 🙂

    • Agreed! I know, some people do think of earnest as a bad trait, but I mostly don’t see it that way. In me, I think it’s a bad thing when I’m so earnest I don’t get that others are joking.

  3. See I would never have imagined it meant you couldn’t tell someone was joking! Ha it’s so interesting to discuss language.

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