Fool's Gold by Jude Fisher

June 24, 2008
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As an ambiguous person, my favorite book changes by the week. For the moment, Jude Fisher's "Fool's Gold" trilogy is the series I've placed on a pedestal. These three books alone exemplify everything i hope to achieve as a writer. Fisher follows eight and more main characters, each with their own numerous subplots and motivations. I've read many novels of this like and to me it seems that I always have a favorite character. When the chapter switches perspective to another character I typically get bored and anxiously await the time at which my favorite character will again be leading the story. But Jude Fisher's novels are an anomaly to me. With each new chapter I was ever more engrossed in the plot, never valuing one character over another. Only adding to her skill is Fisher's vast number of subplots within the series. I can't say I know what method Fisher uses—the extremely outlined plot or the “let the characters write their own story” approach—but either way I hope to someday have a similar command over detailed and interweaving subplots. Of course I respect Fisher's work beyond that of her plot mechanics.

Tee characters in "Fool's Gold" are humanly flawed and don't necessarily gain some higher understanding of the world or their place in it throughout the series. Neither do they have some ultimate realization that they are changing their society. Each character has motivations that are simply human and not rooted in some idealistic, greater good mentality. Additionally, Fisher's main character—while she is the typical fiery, virile, red-headed young woman found in many fantasy novels—keeps the story believable. She, and all the other characters—like any average person would—blunder along Fisher's plotline, not knowing, and at times not caring, where they are headed.

Further, something that I respect in writing is that her novels apologize for nothing. The series is wrought with the sexual tensions, physical and political desires, and the gore of battle endemic to the seafaring life in her series. There is no sugarcoating the truth or skimming over the uncomfortable details.

I won't claim that the series changed my life, far from it. What made the difference to me was Fisher's ability to make the reader care. I found myself truly gripped with the story line of each character, encouraging and reprimanding them aloud as was needed.

Without a doubt "Fool's Gold" is worth every dime of the twenty-three dollars it takes to buy the complete series in paperback.





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