Sorin Suciu’s debut novel, “The Scriptlings” , is unlike anything I have read, except for one random Terry Pratchett story. I am also not a game player and my knowledge of computers – although increasing – is still quite minimal. All of these “deficiencies” made me wonder if I would understand “The Scriptlings”, let alone enjoy it. I am delighted to say that not only did I like it, but I hope there is more to come from this talented writer, for I would love to read more of the characters introduced in this book.
Scriptlings are apprentice magicians and the two featured in this very amusing novel are known as Merkin and Buggeroff. In their earlier lives, they were called Silvia and Simon, but on becoming “enrolled”, they are given their magic names. Merkin is a very talented young scriptling, who is not afraid to use her many feminine attributes if it is to her advantage. Becoming a scriptling was rather a surprise for Buggeroff, but he, too, shows great promise as a magician.
Merkin’s first master is Master Dung, a thoroughly unpleasant magician, who steals many of Merkin’s ideas. It is with considerable speed that he receives his comeuppance at the hands of his scriptling, who then becomes novice to Master Sewer. Her new master is more than attracted by her charms, but he also recognises her skill in the magical arts and sets her a challenge to create a computer virus.
Master Loo has Buggeroff to train as a magician and of all the masters, he is the one that I prefer. He has some odd ways, but, on the whole, seems to have “dear Buggeroff”’s wellbeing at heart. He is also the “owner” of a goat who thinks she is a snake and can become invisible! Another character which amused me is Buggeroff’s Personal Assistant, Stapley, who lives inside his head and can assume different modes of speaking.
There are several intertwining plot threads, but to try to explain them would definitely spoil this novel – and also take too long! Had I known more about computer games and computers in general, I probably would have “got” many more of the jokes, but I still found that I had many chuckles. I can recommend this to anyone who has enjoyed Terry Pratchett; also if the 3Ms appeal! My 3Ms are Magic, Mayhem and Madness – more please, Mr. Suciu.
I received this as an ARC from the author, in return for an honest review. Thank you, Sorin Suciu!
- An Interview with Sorin Suciu (barsetshirediaries.wordpress.com)