Miss Percy’s Travel Guide (to Welsh moors and feral dragons)
Upon request, the author kindly provided an Advance Review Copy of her book (without a final cover image, as such an image is not yet available, which is why no cover is shared with this review), with the understanding that a review would be appreciated, but in no way required, and that the content of said review would be left to the full discretion of the reviewer (that’s me). It should be noted, in the unlikely event doubt exists, that the author referred to in the previous sentence is not in fact Miss Mildred Percy herself, but the esteemed Mrs. Olson.
Now that that’s been adequately mentioned and any questions pertaining to this reviewer’s (me again) impartiality certainly laid to rest, let’s proceed to addressing this reviewer’s (still me) thoughts on the book in question.
To begin with, I shall state that readers who enjoyed the previous installment in this series (Miss Percy’s Pocket Guide (to the care and feeding of British dragons)), are highly likely, bordering on guaranteed, to enjoy this book too. Consequently, readers who did not enjoy the first book (here is where I, in a rare moment of restraint, refrain from describing such readers’ many and significant shortcomings with respect to their understanding of quality entertainment and art (or in fact anything that brings joy to life) in great and scathing detail) will not enjoy it, should they somehow suffer under the misconceptions that more of the same thing they didn’t enjoy would somehow be enjoyable.
The book starts with Miss Percy, Mr. Wiggan, Mrs. Babbinton, and Fitz making their way through a rain soaked Wales to find the place where they believe dragons might originate from. Then, as there is won’t to be, there are complications. Chickens catch fire (or are at least somewhat singed), someone has a piece of firewood delivered at high speed to the back of their head, and dastardly villains (Mrs. Belinda Hawthorne (formerly Miss Muncy) is a most despicable individual, whom it would not pose a challenge to describe in ways ill suited for civilized company) pursue our unknowing heroes.
Much tea is sipped.
It should be noted that despite being very similar in tone and style to the previous book, Miss Percy’s Travel Guide (to Welsh moors and feral dragons) tells a new story that builds on the previous one. New challenges arise and are (mostly) overcome, new characters attach themselves to the chain of events (as well as to the reader), and existing characters find themselves growing into their future selves, for better or for worse.
What I’ll whine about
Just like with the previous book, the fourth wall gets broken with alarming regularity (someone may need enquire about the contact information for a reputable carpenter so as to ensure the entire building doesn’t come down), and while it’s mostly quite enjoyable, it does occasionally disrupt the flow of the narrative to the extent that this reviewer (yep, still me) found himself backtracking in order to regain a sense of how or where a sentence had initially originated.
What I’ll gush about
It’s the sequel to Miss Percy! It’s the sequel to Miss Percy! It’s the sequel to Miss Percy! It’s the sequel to Miss Percy! It’s the sequel to Miss Percy!
More of the same: This book takes all that was good, fun, and delightful in the previous installment and turns it up a notch (or in the case of Mrs. Hawthorn (who was none of that – rather the opposite), down). It’s cozy, charming, and full of warm, living characters one wouldn’t mind traveling through Wales (or through most anything, assuredly) with.
Our main character: We’re getting closer to an aging spinster who’s broken free from the figurative shackles of her sister, and we’re allowed to join her on the adventure she never expected to have, but secretly dreamed of (except in the dreams it wasn’t quite as much rain, mud, or walking – not to mention rattling around in uncomfortable carts).
The writing: The attentive reader may recall that this reviewer (why, hello, it’s me again), in his review of the previous book attempted (with questionable success) to emulate the style of said book. Any reader who’s penetrated the above text to reach this point (thank you kindly) will have concluded that a similar attempt is being made with this review (no, not me, the text you’re reading), and will no doubt realize that this reviewer (yes, this time it’s me) is just as enamored with the prose as last time.
If you enjoyed Miss Percy’s Pocket Guide (to the care and feeding of British dragons), you will enjoy this book too.
Miss Percy’s Travel Guide (to Welsh moors and feral dragons) will be available for purchase from Amazon on October 25, 2022.