Saturday, July 11, 2020

An Unexpected Protagonist: The Wysman by Dorothy Winsor

*** Thank you Inspired Quill for this ARC in exchange for an honest review.***

Just the facts:

Overall Rating:  3 Stars

Addiction Level:  I read it when I had spare time. (I ignored the hubby and puppies during the last few chapters.)

Believe-ability:  The setting is believable.


I was looking for a different read when the opportunity to read The Wysman by Dorothy Winsor came up. I was intrigued by a differently abled protagonist, so I said to yes to the book!

What I liked:
• Jarka is an unlikely protagonist, because he is a street kid with a lame foot who uses a crutch. This reminds me of Peadar Ó Guilín's The Call where the protagonist uses crutches.
• I enjoyed the mystery she presented. There were enough clues to for the reader to solve it first or enjoy Jarka’s discovery of the truth.
• Winsor does a good job of developing the characters and playing with “Don’t judge a book by its cover.” Because of his disability and life circumstances, Jarka is able to see people’s true nature.
• Ellyn is one of the overseers of the children’s refuge, and she carries a knife on her belt. I love this fierceness of her character and that Jarka admires her for it too.
• A Wysman’s job is to advise the king. In Adrya and Jarka’s discussions, the reader can see the tension between doing what is best for the whole kingdom vs the individual. Winsor also raises the question of duty vs happiness. Can anyone have both? Lyssa marries Clovyan to provide for her daughter, yet her husband is a monster. Prince Beran and Lineth want to marry, but marrying off Lineth would create a valuable ally for the kingdom.
• The ending was satisfactory as the wrong-doers must live with the consequences of their actions as doled out by the Powers.
• The following passage reminds me of finding the good in tribulation. What might seem as a curse can often be a blessing as circumstances create growth and bring blessings. “I had a sudden, vivid memory of my mother telling me my crooked foot was a gift from the Powers, a challenge that would make me a deeper person who saw the world more truly. I could read the wind, compensation from the Powers for what they’d withheld. I wondered if I could persuade Lineth to see her father’s treachery as a gift. It was a gift for the kids at the refuge, for sure.”

What I disliked:
• I believed Jarka was a distrustful, street kid, but I did not believe he was male.
• Winsor did a good job of developing the characters of Jarka, Lineth, and Ellyn. Developing Adrya’s character would have added more fullness to the story. It would be assumed that Adrya was trustworthy because Jarka was her apprentice. Yet, there is constant tension. Is this because Jarka distrusts everyone?

Final Thoughts:
• This was an interesting read. When I first started the book, I was intrigued by some of the life questions Winsor explores. I found myself somewhat impatient as the mystery seemed to spiral without an ending in sight. The last few chapters were exciting, and I read it quickly. The ending was satisfactory with room to expand or close the story.


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