Following the Silver Thread

I just finished reading Rumo and His Miraculous Adventures by Walter Moers. It was… well… kinda… Rumoabout… sorta… it’s really hard to explain. It’s about war and death and life and growth and adventure and intrigue and science and the unknown and, above all, love. Reading a Zamonian tale is almost like stepping into a whirlwind; there’s really no use in struggling to figure out where you’re heading. Just give up control and let Moers take you where he will, following the characters from one improbable event to another, taking every possible avenue, exploring stories within stories within stories. For the most part, I really enjoy this frenetic style of storytelling. It almost fells like a reinvention of the type of fairy tales spun by the Grimms. That being said….

This book is far more violent than I anticipated. If you’re expecting the whimsical atmosphere that permeated Moers’ previous foray into Zamonia, The 13 1/2 Lives of Captain Bluebear, you should rethink your outlook. There’s a lot more death, pain, and suffering in this outing. In fact, those are really the dominant themes in Rumo. So much so that I found it a little trying at times.

Still, it’s definitely worth a read. Rumo himself is a bit static, but his supporting cast is superb. A shark grub with 14 arms and a shady past; an army of dead Yetis; an ancient, gregarious tree; a nocturnomath (of course!), a homunculus, and a magical sword inhabited by not one but two diametrically opposed souls. And so, so much more. (I haven’t even mentioned the villains!)


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