by Bob Dixon
Date Finished: Sept 9, 2016
- I received this book free from Ravenswood Publishers.
Rags leads an idyllic life for a goblin child—he spends his days playing in the landfill with his gargoyle friend Ladin, going fishing with his father Hargo in the river, and developing his love of music. His parents love him intensely, and his mother Calin is fiercely protective of him. How could he ask for anything more as he lives an enchanted life on the reservation on the outskirts of the “civilized” world, surrounded by mystical creatures and magic? Little does Rags realize that he is not a goblin but instead a human who was abandoned shortly after his birth and left in the landfill to be raised by the goblins as a way to fulfill an ancient prophecy of good and evil, twin brothers separated at birth and reunited in the thirteenth year of their life, one to unleash an ancient evil, the other the only hope to stop it from happening. A powerful tale of magic, music, and danger, Rags and Ruins is sure to thrill readers of all ages with its mix of adventure, intrigue, and humor—and if it doesn’t, they’ll have to answer to a furious goblin mother.
Rags and Ruins is a fantasy story that takes so much of what we think we know about fantasy tropes and turns them on their heads, in the best way possible.
Hargo, is a good-hearted, hard working goblin. Calin is a loving, protective mother goblin. Ladin is a fun loving, adventurous gargoyle. With the Man in the House to keep watch on him and the landfill where they and other “creatures of darkness” live. Rags is really lucky to have them all in his life. A boy never had it so good from so many “bad characters.”
The main story line is about a prophecy that Rags and a twin brother are destined to fulfill one day. Of course, as happens with most fantasy stories there is a magical council working behind the scenes to make sure that the “child of darkness” has as little training as possible and that the “child of light” as much as possible. Their plan is to stack the odds so that come the day of fulfillment evil will be easily overcome. But they are wrong… wrong about Rags, wrong about his brother, wrong about the true meaning of darkness and light, and wrong about themselves. (Telling you this is not a spoiler, you’ll see this coming from a mile away.)
Luckily Hargo and Calin have seen the truth of things and Rags’ love of music is no accident.
This isn’t rooting for the bad guys the way some dark fantasy and urban books have you rooting for the vampire with a soul, or the brooding bad guy. Rags and Ruins has a deep message about stereotypes but brings it out with a light touch.
Bob Dixon can weave a tale. Rags and Ruins is a masterpiece, a must read for fantasy fans.
I loved it! From the first page to the last, I thought this book was adorable and the characters truly likable. It’s hard for me to imagine that in 2016 I will like another book more than I liked Rags and Ruins. I think I have found my book of the year.