Seranfyll, a brand new novel by Christina Delay, will take readers to a wonderful place where horses fly and houses sneeze, where mops and pails bark like dogs and clean of their own accord, where trees walk and butlers are created – willy-nilly – out of chickens. It’s a delightful place. A place of animation and imagination. A place I thoroughly enjoyed visiting.
Ms. Daley’s story is lengthy, but I never felt I was jogging in place. It flows well and contains a nice mix of action, intrigue, fantasy, dialogue and interaction between characters. In fact, this play between three well-defined characters is one of the book’s greatest strengths. Rain, a slave with a sweet, affectionate spirit; Coal, another slave who’s distrustful, rude and impatient; and Domrey, the drunken, eccentric, wonderful lord.
The book is also chuck full of wit and sharp one-liners, especially from Domrey, whom I particularly enjoyed. His unpredictability kept me laughing. Knitting on the roof, dancing on the table, leaving a chicken in charge of the manor. But Seranfyll is not without its serious moments with its powerful message against slavery. At times, it feels almost biblical, such as when Domrey invites the destitute to his banquet, or when he takes Coal’s whipping on himself. Seranfyll celebrates honor, goodness, loyalty, patriotism, friendship and love.
I must say the book is in need of a light edit to fix typos, slash some adverbs and adjectives, and eliminate “wordiness” in some sentences. (It has since been re-edited.) But don’t let these small issues sway you in your choice. Seranfyll is magical, highly imaginative and fun. I recommend it for children age 10+ and adults who enjoy fantasy with a fairy tale flavor. Check out the sequel, Eligere.
Seranfyll is only 99 cents! Here’s where to find it: