The Fool Returns by Tom Block

Title: The Fool Returns 
Author: Tom Block
Pages: 247 pages
Published: 2014
Genre: Historical Fiction, Mystery
Bill is alone on the New York subway late one night, in the spring of 1992. A man runs into his compartment and drops an ancient card in his lap. This other man is promptly chased down by a shadowy figure and shot to death. In this single moment, Bill's life explodes. He goes from being a hapless bartender to a wanted man- and the most important person in a centuries-long mystical quest. The card takes Bill from his mundane existence as a bartender, on a labyrinthine voyage far from home, and deep into the past. He travels to hidden Iberia, into a world of hidden mysteries, of Gatekeepers and Porters, chapels made entirely out of human bones and secret tunnels buried deep beneath a medieval town. He is passed from one place to another by a mysterious fraternity of unknown family members, with shared roots dating back almost 800 years. In the end, Bill will either successfully complete his quest- or find himself floating face down and dead in the Tagus River, in Lisbon. Like the last family member who attempted to return this card to its ultimate destination. 

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**I received a copy of this book from the author in exchange for an honest review**

Tom Block wasn't a name that I was familiar with. In these past few days I've had the amazing opportunity to work with other authors and publishers, Tom Block being one of them. I went into this book with no prior knowledge of the synopsis. That's usually how I like to handle these books. Whenever I'm reading a historical fiction-based book, I normally don't read the synopsis and try to see if I understand the book anyways.

The premise of the book was quite nice. I mean if you're looking for the perfect historical fiction read, this one should fit the bill as well. It has pictures, a mesmerizing plot, and some mediocre. I wasn't really persuaded with the cover of this book, however. The cover looks kind of cool in an abstract-y kind of way, but I didn't know how it fit in with the plot of the book.

I was a trifle bit concerned with this book, but maybe it's just because I'm not the most knowledgeable person when it comes to historical fiction. I was able to gather one thing: The author did some heavy researching while writing this book, which I'm pretty impressed by. If I'm not mistaken, this book was based off of fact. Fact based off the idea of the political ideas of the Jews and the Muslims. The way the author was able to create an idea and promote his stories from these facts was truly amazing. I've seen authors try the study-and-write process in writing historical fiction but to no avail. And any author who can execute it successfully, I believe, must receive full honor and recognition. It's not easy! I wasn't able to connect with the characters as often as I usually do in books, so I found that somewhat alarming. The story was so well put together that I guess it drove my attention away from the character development in the book.

The one thing I clearly loved about this book were the pictures that were intertwined with the story. That just did it for me really. It was in that moment that I realized I really enjoyed picture books. Hurray! It was so unique and unlike and unlike anything I'd seen in a historical fiction book. It was really nostalgic of the book Miss Peregrine's Home for Peculiar Children by Ransom Riggs. I was really educated by the world that Mr. Block introduced to us.

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  1. This doesn't look like the kind of thing I'd usually read, but great review all the same! :)

    1. Thanks Anna for consistently visiting and commenting :D


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