Book Review: The Enchanted Flute by James Norcliffe

29 Dec

I will preface this post by saying that urban fantasy has never held much of a draw for me. I am more interested in history and an “older” voice, and I tend to be caught off guard by modern language in books, I read so much of the older stuff.

It all started with a flute in the window of a seedy old pawn shop. Taking it home, Becky discovers that she can’t play it–rather, it makes her play only one song: Syrinx by Debussy. Drawn to its old owner, Dr. Faunus, the song that Becky is forced to play seems to enchant the old man into youth. Running from his house with that nerd Johnny Cadman, the two youths are thrown into a mythical land and chased to the ends of it, all for the sake of one enchanted flute.

Becky and I didn’t hit it off right away. She kept calling Johnny Cadman a nerd like it was a negative thing, and being a nerd myself, I took offense. I also didn’t believe some aspects of her character. There was one scene where she described herself as a good listener, but given that she wouldn’t give Johnny the time of day previous to that scene, I had trouble believing her claims. That said, she did become more bearable as the story went on. Even then, I didn’t feel particularly connected to her or the other characters in the story. They lacked the kind of depth I usually like to see.

That said, the plot of this book was–well–enchanting. An enchanted flute, an old man with goat hooves, characters thrown into a mystical land with magical creatures, gods and goddesses all made for an entertaining read. The setting was well described, though I wish the music the flute played had been described a bit better. I ended up listening to it on YouTube, and while listening to the tune will always be better than reading about it, I would have liked to have more of an idea of what it sounded like.

The book was adventure packed and interesting and, more to the point, different than a lot of things I usually read. If you’re looking for a fun, fast-paced read, look no further than The Enchanted Flute.


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