Published by Crowswing Books
Author Web site: http://www.seanwright.co.uk/
Sean Wright returns to his intricately imagined world in Jaarfindor Remade, bringing along Lia-Va, the protagonist from the previous novel. In The Twisted Root of Jaarfindor, Wright blurred the line between fantasy and reality; that is, it wasn’t quite clear the connection between the world of Jaarfindor and our world, there were hazy connections, but nothing definite. Here, in Jaarfindor Remade, the connection is more distinct, as the two worlds have collided. The reality of Jaarfindor has taken over the reality of Earth. This is an interesting concept that Wright takes to the full tilt on each page.
It isn’t just one person taking over our plane of realty, in fact, the worlds have literally collided. Throughout the floating cities and fantastic landscape, elements of our world filter in throughout. Both Lia-Va and Fortune find themselves watching CNN news feeds, among other things. All of this can be seen, in a sense, as a metaphor for the genre of fantasy itself. Reader, fans, and critics often try to reconcile the juncture between the settings and elements of fantasy with its relevance to real world. Perhaps that is a vague statement, but there are a number of vagaries in the book. That is part of Sean Wright’s skill as a writer of fantasy – he doesn’t spell out too much and allows the reader to infer much. Jaarfindor Remade is something of a dialogue; a collaboration between reader and writer.
As for the story itself, Wright focuses on Domino Fortune as Lia-Va takes on a more secondary role in this novel. Specifically, the novel focuses on Fortune’s frustrations with his boss, Lia-va; his conflicting multiple identities; and his attempts at changing the world. One thing Wright explores with Fortune is the nature of identity. Throughout the book he alternates between the name Bentley and Fortune, and as such, he plays different roles. Under the name Bentley, he plays the part of hired gun; albeit a frustrated hired gun under the employment o Lia-Va. While Lia-Va knows his name is really Domino Fortune, she insists on calling him Bentley, if only to taunt him and illustrate her control over him. He also plays the part of revolutionary, some may say terrorist, as Bentley. He poses as a member of a group who wants to overthrow Lia-Va’s strict rule of Jaarfindor.
One of the more interesting characters; however, is that of disembodied head – Dr. Lars Handel. Through the magic of the root featured in The Twisted Root of Jaarfindor, Handel’s consciousness has remained intact. His head resides in a jar, yet his consciousness can still be accessed in the museum where the head is housed. Through his contact with Handel’s mind, Domino learns a great deal more about life and death, as well as the nature of Jaarfindor itself. The connections between Earth and Jaarfindor become more clear as certain veils are lifted between what Fortune accepted as truth and what Handel shows him as the truth of the world – two things which are not exactly the same thing.
Between the writing of Twisted Root and Remade, Sean Wright has become a stronger writer. One thing he hasn’t done, thankfully, is to reign in his imagination. Despite being set in the same world as the Twisted Root of Jaarindor, Remade stands on its own, althought reading the previous novel will deepen the experience. While his writing has become stronger, there are times when the plot tends to ramble and lose some of its focus. However, like the earlier novel, Jaafindor Remade is a fantasy novel that knows no bounds and Sean Wright as a writer, continues to stretch those boundaries.
© 2006 Rob H. Bedford
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