Foundling: The Foundling’s Tale Part One by D.M. Cornish
Pages: 448 (Paperback)
I enjoyed this book because Cornish creates a fascinating alternate universe and includes an interesting supporting cast. The main character, on the other hand, does very little in the book except watch things happen, wish he was somewhere else, try to keep from crying, and walk a lot. He’s annoying, actually.
The setting is like our mid-18th-century, with horses and ships as the main transportation and clothing a variation of the tricorns and gowns of that period. Magic plays a large part in the story, as do monsters that roam the countryside. Some steampunk creeps in, too, with altered mechanics and enhanced humans.
The boy foundling with a girl’s name, Rossamünd, must leave the cozy orphanage where he grew up to travel to his new job. His misadventures and the people and creatures he meets along the way constitute this first story.
There is plenty of fighting, kidnapping, death, and scary monsters to go around. Defintely not a light-hearted tale. However, I thought the innocence (naïveté) of Rossamünd brightened it up.
The language was fun for me, as it includes many alternate words for everyday objects, magic, and monsters. However, be aware that you can use the glossary (see below) if you don’t enjoy that.
The book is very obviously part of a larger series, and the ending is not at all gratifying. It’s a good stopping point, but you will feel compelled to continue the story, as I am.
Additionally, you may be mistaken about the size of the actual book, because the “Explicarium” at the end is absolutely huge. It includes an extensive glossary, list of characters, maps and diagrams, and lots of wonderful information about the world of Half-Continent. The author’s really nice sketches of the characters scattered throughout the book add a lot to the ambience. More are included in the Explicarium. But it’s not the story itself.
Recommended for lovers of historical-steampunk-fantasy who commit to the series. [Thanks to Jay from the book club for lending me this book!]
FTC Disclosure: I have an affiliate relationship with Amazon.com. Some of the links in this post may go to their site. If you purchase something using that link, I may receive a small compensation. I am never paid to review books and am always brazenly honest (ask my husband). Thank you!