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