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Saturday, May 02, 2009

The Bone Magician by F. E. Higgins

I recently read The Bone Magician by F. E. Higgins. (Neither the author nor the book have a Wikipedia article. Higgins is female, lives in the UK, and appears to be no more than, say, 40, based on a couple of photos I've seen. Google Books has some extracts from the book, here.)

The book is a mystery novel, aimed at young readers, I suppose. It is fantastic, in that it is set in a fictitious town, with an extraordinary river running through it. The river smells badly, and breathing water from the river will wake up the main character, Pin Carpue, who is a boy, probably a young teenager.

Although there are a lot of shady, bizarre, and even definitely evil characters, and some faked magic, there doesn't seem to be any real magic -- no wizards, no witches.

Higgins does consider religious matters a little, although I would not say that the book is mostly religious.

On p. 51, a minor character considers a particularly ugly beast, caged and exhibited as a way of making money. He indicates that he believes that God put such creatures on earth for our amusement.

On p. 239, a character is described as believing that there is no God, that life is just meaningless. This character, clearly intelligent, has had a hard life. He is also a serial killer, it develops. The attachment of such a description to him seems to indicate, by implication, that there is a God.

There is not a soul in this city who would ever accept that they might be to blame for something. It is not in their nature! p.263. Pin Carpue, the main character, to his diary.

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