A Nameless Witch: A Tale of Vengeance, True Love, and Cannibalism
A. Lee Martinez
Tom Doherty Assoc., LCC, NY, NY 2007
The title is intriguing, the subtitle gruesome and the entire tale a delightful fantasy romp. The story line reads like many modern teen fiction novels. A girl who is cursed from birth trains to become a witch. She acquires a blood-thirsty familiar and takes on a troll as a companion. When she meets the White Knight she works desperately to hide her true self and her forbidden attraction to him. Only it’s not what it sounds like.
This story is written with the wry humor of Douglas Adams or Terry Pratchett. It has the quality of the early work of either of those renowned authors. In that style, the characters are developed as much through their witty and distinctive dialogue as by their actions. This technique is at its most charming when the Nameless Witch struggles to sound like a “proper witch”.
The evil wizard who stalks the land is an illusionist and there-in lies the depth of the tale. There is nothing about this book that demands a literary examination. It is a fun, light escape. Should the reader choose to look deeper each character is confronted with making the distinction between reality and illusion. They all have major character flaws that they can indulge or deny. They can also choose the third option and come fully to terms with who they are.
The True Love in the story is carefully nurtured by a beautiful prostitute who has the capacity to see past the illusions to the heart of the matter. It is reminiscent of teen love in its intensity, shyness and in the way destiny strives to pull it apart. These characters are truly torn when their natures are in conflict with their desires.
This was a quick read and a nice break from the intensity of some of the other books I’ve been reading. It put a smile on my face. It even made me laugh out loud.