Here we are, Day 2 of the Christian Science Fiction & Fantasy Blog Tour. (My post for Day 1 can be found here.) Today I’d like to talk about the primary characters in The Vanishing Sculptor.
Tipper: Tipper is a young emerlindian woman, emerlindians being one of the seven high races. In her glossary, Mrs. Paul describes emerlindians as being “born with white hair and pale gray eyes. As they age, they darken. One group of emerlindians are slight in stature, the tallest being five feet. Another distinct group are between six and six and a half feet tall.” This race plays a very important role in the previous DragonKeeper Series, as it does in The Vanishing Sculptor. While emerlindians often seem to develop into very wise people (especially in the DragonKeeper books), Tipper is too young to exhibit such. However, this is perfect for the young adult audience this book seeks to reach. Like many young people, Tipper is trying to puzzle her way through life, seeking to understand why her father left and then, later in the story, what role she can play to help accomplish the goal of their quest. Because she has been alone and in charge for so long, Tipper has become very self-sufficient, a quality that tends to get her into trouble frequently.
Becaroon: Sir Beccaroon is a grand parrot who is magistrate over his district and Tipper’s guardian. At times, particularly at first, I found it odd to have a grand parrot play the role of protector and magistrate as he didn’t seem to be extremely authoritative. However, if he were, it would have diminished Tipper’s role as an independent young woman, which would have ruined much of the premise of the story. From time to time, however, I thought it might have been better to have chosen a different race to play this part. Nonetheless, Sir Beccaroon projects enough of an aristocratic air and a sense of being in charge to help balance his faults.
Verrin Schope: Verrin Schope is Tipper’s father and an artist, sculptor, scientist, explorer, and wizard. Early on in the book, I wasn’t sure if he would ever appear, but he did as the story progressed. The reason Tipper’s father disappeared was not due to irresponsibility, as Tipper feared, but due to him falling into a gateway that became distorted, thus altering his physical substantiality. However, it is finally discovered that he is somehow connected to a particular piece of wood that must be cut out of the closet floor so Verrin Schope can take it with him and move around outside the house. I did find it quite humorous to see him tote this piece of wood around as he disappeared and reappeared from time to time.
Graddapotmorphit Bealomondore: Bealmondore is a tumanhofer artist and fan of Verrin Schope who admires the artist’s work so much that he seeks to become an apprentice to the master sculptor. When Tipper’s mother desires a particular painting, Tipper deceives Bealmondore into creating the painting so that she might present it to her mother as a work of her father’s. However, in the process, she angers the tumanhofer, who leaves in a huff, forcing Tipper to later seek the artist out in order to solicit his help. It seems he is the one who holds the knowledge as to where the statues are that need to be reassembled as a single work of art. I found Bealmondore to be a humorous character and one who lent some warmth to the story. He turns out to not be all he seemed to be and eventually becomes a reluctant member of the quest.
Wizard Fenworth: I was glad to see Wizard Fenworth become part of the story as I truly enjoyed his role in the DragonKeeper books. He is simply a charming character–a blend of a curmudgeon, very capable wizard, and eccentric old man. He often doesn’t make sense to the others, but when necessary, his wisdom prevails, giving him a critical role in guiding the quest in the direction it needs to go. Another humorous aspect of Fenworth is that bugs, small creatures, and sometimes snakes often crawl out of the bog wizard’s robes, much to the delight of the minor dragons who are always ready for a quick snack.
Librettowit: Librettowit, Wizard Fenworth’s tumanhofer librarian, is also a character first introduced in the DragonKeeper books. I found it surprising and pleasantly not stereotypical for Librettowit to actually be more than just a librarian. He is also a wise companion of the wizard’s and a character that sometimes plays a critical role in guiding the questing companions in the direction they need to go, a role he falls into especially when Fenworth mentally drifts away somewhere else. It seems to me that Librettowit’s character is stronger in The Vanishing Sculptor than in the DragonKeeper books, a development that I’m not sure fits with his character and something I would be interested in knowing more about.
Prince Jayrus: I found the appearance of Prince Jayrus (a new character) a surprising development. He is a DragonKeeper and prince of the Mercigon Mountain Range. I won’t say much about how his character develops as it would be a major spoiler for anyone wanting to read The Vanishing Sculptor, but suffice it to say that his role becomes critical to the development of the story. I also enjoyed his sometimes comical actions as he sought to move about in a world he had not previously experienced in great measure.
Lady Peg Schope: Tipper’s emerlindian mother, Lady Peg Schope, eventually plays a significant part in the back half of the book, something I had not anticipated early in the story. Lady Peg is, in many ways, out of touch with reality and drifts through her days in a fog of cluelessness. Again, I won’t say much about her character for fear of spoiling the story for future readers.
Come back tomorrow for a peek at Mrs. Paul, a charming woman and award-winning author. Meanwhile, lets see what the other reviewers have to say:
CSFF Blog Tour
D. G. D. Davidson
Todd Michael Greene
Rebecca LuElla Miller
Eve Nielsen (posting later in the week)
John W. Otte
Rachel Starr Thomson
For more info on The Vanishing Sculptor, see: http://www.amazon.com/exec/obidos/ASIN/1400073391