Mimus by Lilli Thal (English translation by John Brownjohn). Review by Lisa Schussler
Written by an author with a Master's degree in medieval studies, this book is a light medieval adventure with enough action and suspense to keep you coming back for more.
King Philip and twelve-year-old Prince Florin are invited to a banquet at the court of their rival, King Theodo, with the promise of a peaceful resolution to the long-standing war between their two kingdoms. Instead of peace, they meet betrayal. Theodo imprisons King Philip and several of his men, and forces Florin into apprenticeship with Mimus, the court jester. During his humiliating ordeal Florin uncovers a plot to bring down King Theodo and rescue the prisoners. He also finds support in the unlikeliest inhabitants of his enemy's castle.
Despite its "Young Adult" classification, I found Mimus contained enough universal issues to engage an adult. I liked this story for its portrayal of a jester's life at court and for its characters. Just like the false invitation, not everyone is as they seem. Men Florin once trusted become traitors. Mimus, despite his pranks and low-brow comments, proves to be no fool. Even the despicable King Theodo has his amiable moments. The story also takes off quickly so the reader isn't left wondering, "When is the good stuff going to happen?"
If you're looking for an epic saga, this may not be for you. If, on the other hand, you're looking for a great medieval story that keeps you turning pages with lots of action, likeable characters, and a few laughs, Mimus is one to go for.
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Lisa Schussler is a medical scientist, long-time reader, and horror
fan. She has entered several fiction writing contests and is currently
moderator of the Horror Forum on the Bestsellers & Literature online