Christopher Bunn begins the Tormay Trilogy with the tale about Jute and his unknown protector. Just who/what this protector is becomes clear in the first chapter of The Hawk and His Boy.
I usually compare myself with the characters of the books that I read. Are we very dissimilar? Is there anything in the story that resonates with me?
Another thing I do is try to figure out how likely the scenario is. Not the whole magic/supernatural thing, but the interaction between various characters. Is there any chance of people acting the way they do in the particular piece of literature I am reading? The answer to those questions determine how I view the author’s passion for her/his work.
Another very important factor for me is words. Are there many mistakes? Do I feel a lot of editing has gone into the novel? Does the author know how to move from word to sentence to paragraph to chapter (or the flow as I call it)?
My mother and father grew up under harsh circumstances. They have both seen how life can force people to commit desperate acts. Jute’s life at the time we meet him is wholly believable. His circumstances have made him a thief and a very good one at that. Unfortunately, being good at something can be dangerous for the expert. Chances are you might be “asked” to do something dangerous.
Jute did that dangerous deed and things went about as one would expect in a fantasy novel – not very well for him. But surprising things can get you out of trouble and into boiling water. That is where Jute ends up – over a very hot fire in a bubbling cauldron.
For Ronan the Knife his job with Jute makes him want to leave his business and change his life around. Is that even possible when your adult life has been spent doing a job that is guaranteed to make you enemies? We shall see.
The third character I want to mention is Levoreth Callas. She is a strange one. As it turns out she is even stranger than one might think.
So. What exactly resonated with me in The Hawk and His Boy? Jute’s character in general. His life is terrible (according to my standards), yet he retains his curiosity and optimism.
In Chapter 6 Bunn writes a scene that could have ended up in overkill, yet he manages the balance needed to keep on writer’s tight edge. Not always an easy thing to achieve.
Christopher’s passion for his work is easy to see in the way he puts his words together so carefully.