‘Fellowship of Ink’ Paul Magrs

fellowship of ink

Brenda is back! It’s the 1930s, and Brenda (of Brenda and Effie fame!) finds herself in the old, medieval university town of Darkholmes in the North of England. She’s a housemaid, and teams up with fictionalised versions of CS Lewis and JRR Tolkien, who are conjuring up monsters from other dimensions through their writings. Together, they battle demons and solve strange mysteries.

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I’ve been in something of a reading slump these past two weeks and, as a result, it has taken me a rather long time to read this novel comprised of a mere 312 pages.

As is the case with most books, it was the cover of Fellowship of Ink that reeled me in initially. The rainbow colours, the sparkles, the dramatic tag line, the endorsement…combined, they promised a fun-filled, fantastical adventure, all from the comfort of my chair.

Now, I’m going to be honest, I have mixed feelings about this book and after some investigation (a rich term for having a quick Google), I discovered that Fellowship of Ink is a prequel to another series that features Brenda, the Tylers’ housemaid. I’m not sure if the fact that I haven’t read these other books has had an effect upon my enjoyment of this book, but I just found I couldn’t really immerse myself in the story.

Sure, there is a wide array of colourful characters populating this book and the way in which these characters interact with one another is fantastic. The dialogue between them is witty and fast paced and makes for some amusing scenes, particularly those involving Henry Cleavis. Each of the characters is well-rounded and unique and unlike any character I have ever come across elsewhere in fiction. They’re what make this novel so fresh and innovative.

I like the idea behind Fellowship of Ink; the idea that writing can wear thin the walls between the realms. I mean, who hasn’t, at one point or another, wanted to enter an alternate or fictional universe? I think that idea alone speaks to a small spark of hope residing within all of us.

However (god, how I hate that word sometimes), while the story is fast paced and exciting in places, I found it quite difficult to follow. As I said, perhaps this is simply because it’s a fictional universe that I’m unfamiliar with and I realised that this might be the case when I didn’t understand the ending of the book. I felt like I was missing something crucial and I think it might have been because I haven’t read Brenda’s series. If it’s a prequel, though, should a reader be left feeling like this? I don’t know, this is a situation I’ve never faced before as a book blogger.

Furthermore, from an editorial perspective, there are so many errors within Fellowship of Ink. There are multiple typos scattered among the pages, characters become other characters on more than one occasion and Brenda is referred to as ‘Bessie’ twice on page 300. As a writer, I understand editing is difficult but this is a book published by a professional publishing house. Books (I assume anyway) are supposed to be subjected to proofreading and multiple edits before being published.  Truth be told, I’ve never read a book with so many errors and it really pulled me out of the story every time I encountered one.

Rating: 3 out of 5

Song: Iron Maiden’s Stranger in a Strange Land 

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This book is available on Amazon in e-book and paperback format.

7 thoughts on “‘Fellowship of Ink’ Paul Magrs

  1. Sounds intriguing and that’s true about however, it seems to have two meanings. However, followed by something good or the dreaded however that is followed by something bad!

    That sucks about the editing, when it’s bad it really does spoil the enjoyment of a book.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I know, whenever someone’s telling me something and they say “however”, my heart kinda stops because whatever they’re going to say could go one of two ways!
      The editing was horrific. I’ve never seen anything like it. The odd typo here and there, sure, but there were so many glaring errors that should have been picked up on!

      Liked by 1 person

  2. I can’t believe a published book would have so many errors! Obviously some things could easily be missed, but multiple in the same book is shocking. I’ve had a bit of a reading slump too, it took me about a week to read Fight Club which only has about 220 pages!!!!

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Ah, so that is the book… I recall you mentioning a book slump. Anyway, no, I don’t think a prequel should leave you feeling less than excited about a series. And while I am hesitant to point out editing errors sometimes (because where does the line go in between a few is ok and that’s too many?) I totally agree that if published by a publishing house, these should have been dealt with.
    Great review nonetheless and I’m glad you managed ti finish the book, even during the dreaded reading slump!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Truth be told, I haven’t read too many prequels so I wasn’t sure, but I’m glad to hear I’m not alone in my opinion! They shouldn’t leave a reader feeling lost and confused; if anything, they should set up the upcoming series and help them gain a better understanding!
      Oh god, the errors were really something. I don’t mind a few because obviously, mistakes happen…but at one point there were four errors four pages in a row and they’re really glaring, obvious errors too. I just couldn’t understand how they hadn’t been picked up on!
      Pleased you enjoyed the review, though! 😀

      Like

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