Carole Cummings, Dreamspinner Press

Carole Cummings’ “The Queen’s Librarian” Puts The Fun In The Fundamental Of Reading

Books may well be the only true magic. ― Alice Hoffman



In our own world, perhaps, yes. But in Lucas Tripp’s world… Well, in Lucas’s world true magic is not confined entirely to the books for which he has a special love, the books for which, as his queen’s librarian, he is solely responsible. In fact, the true magic one can find outside of his books is the kind that makes Lucas’s world of Daimins and stone circles and faerie mounds the sort of place where everyday mundane cares must collide with the mystical. It is the place where books are history, and books are mystery, and books, or one book in particular, at least, is the key to…everything.

Of course, we all know that legends and myth and folklore and fairy tales are largely made up of truths. Well, the truths about Lucas’s adventure are these: His life has become an Occam’s razor of discovery, a place where he must suss out everything that isn’t until he lands on the very best answer for exactly what everything is—which is a tad confounding really, until he uses his heart’s key to unlock the answers. In following his adventure, we learn that his land is drenched in a generations-old cursed, and that it’s possible to be both pragmatic and impractical, and that licking his lover, Alex Booker, in public probably isn’t okay, and that sloppy drunks don’t have to make sense, and that suitors can be pretenders and pretenders can be suitors, and that ale and fairy trees aren’t very good for a person’s clothing or, well, his person either.

We learn that Lucas thinks he may be living in a romance novel, but that’s okay because, oh, how much is there to love about that romance? It is divine, really, as we also learn that Lucas and Alex’s world is like one long and spontaneous smile: lighthearted, whimsical, magical, and romantical all at once.

Just when we’d gotten used to Carole Cummings’ spectacular brand of darkly atmospheric fantasy, she has broken form with The Queen’s Librarian, and I must say that the difference is most definitely delectable. I fell truly, madly, and deeply for Lucas and his Alex, and for the just-this-side-of-impossible world in which they live; fell just a little bit for a Prince, too, who might not be the brightest jewel in the crown but is certainly colorful; fell for the humor and the magic that made this world come to life, and I am most certainly waiting to see what may come next for Alex and his squire, scholar, and soon to be something more in his majesty’s service.

Reviewed by: Lisa

You can buy The Queen’s Librarian here:

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