This weekend I finished The Canticle Kingdom by Michael Young. It is a fantasy novel that combines magic with music. As a musician, I have often tried to think of story lines that did this, but I haven't come up with anything that works. Michael did.
First off, I would give this book a clean rating, meaning I would have no problem letting my kids read it. There is a little violence, but nothing very extreme or gory. There is nothing even close to resembling a swear word.
The Canticle Kingdom weaves post World War II Europe and America with that of a magical fantasy land. We first start off with some German craftsmen who make a music box. It goes through several hands and causes mysterious disappearances around it. Meanwhile, we also meet Johann and Brigitta, two youths who live in the Canticle Kingdom. They begin an adventure in their realm that seemingly has nothing to do with the one going on in Europe. I was intrigued and wanted to keep reading to see how these two worlds would come together.
This book was refreshing because it was a magical fantasy without the cliche. As much as I like Tolkien, it seems too many books rely upon the type of world he created. The Canticle Kingdom gives us a new perspective on fantasy that is truly unique.
Oh yeah, beware the Ides of March.