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    Review of AN ANTIC DISPOSITION by Alan Gordon


    St. Martin's Minotaur, January 2004

    While gathering in the Black Forest for training, the Jesters Guild hears a story of how the Guild worked to prevent a war in Denmark. The story is a long one, involving a man who betrayed his brother and married his sister-in-law, the son who seemed mad, that son's doomed love for a beautiful woman, spies, secret messages and poison.

    For the first half the story, the protagonist is a fool, Terrance of York (renamed Yorick by the young Amleth), while Amleth himself becomes the primary figure after the death of his father. Strong story-telling, and the strong underlying story propell the narrative seamlessly through this transition.

    In fact, author Alan Gordon (see more reviews of novels by Gordon) retells the story of Shakespear's Hamlet--but with the Fools playing a larger role. The Jester's Guild is a formidable force for peace during the middle east, and a small group of fools have their hands full in a wild time in Denmark's history when the nation is pulling itself together, but where multiple men see their chances to become King--even if it means betraying their promises.

    Fans of the Shakespear play will enjoy Gordon's retelling of the story--and the surprise ending. But the enjoyment is not limited to Shakespear fans. The idea of a medieval Fools Guild which wroks for peace is a strong one that has served Gordon well across a number of these stories (and something we need more of in our world today).

    If you enjoy historical mystery with a touch of humor, you don't want to miss Alan Gordon's Fool series--and AN ANTIC DISPOSITION is a great one to get started with.

    Four Stars

    Reviewed 1/13/05

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