The Trickster by Dorothy A. Winsor review
Thank you to the Inspired Quill, Dorothy A. Winsor, and cardinalsluvbooks for providing a copy of The Trickster by Dorothy Winsor in return for an honest review!
The Trickster follows two fascinating young protagonists: Dilly, a lady-in-waiting to a noblewoman, and Fitch, the son of a smuggler, who find themselves caught up in a dangerous plot that kicks up in the middle of the winter festival.
Starting out with a rather whimsical scene of a girl in a winged costume with a loyal little dog, this book quickly surprises you with the tactful treatment of rather serious issues. Dilly and Fitch both have deep, complicated backstories that constantly affect the way they handle what they're going through in the present. Nor would one read the beginning and expect the political intrigue and truly sinister plans that our main cast needs to bring a stop to, and yet it works. The dark topics and realistically cruel villains slide in like puzzle pieces, making this book a page-turner you'd never expect.
Dilly and Fitch are both characterized well. You get a good feel for Dilly's pluck and Fitch's perseverance soon after their introductions. They're clever, but not so clever that they always know the way out of the sticky situations they get caught in. The villains, too, have more than one layer to them, making them far scarier than the one-dimensional, inhuman things that are so often cast in the role of antagonist. My only real problem in regards to characters was one of the other ladies-in-waiting. I can't remember her name, and I have no desire to go look for it because every scene this girl was in was annoying. She was every single mean girl from every single chick flick, leaving a rather ugly mark on an otherwise stellar cast of characters.
The plot moves from scene to scene at a perfect pace, never dragging anything out or speeding through events. Though this is a rather short book, there's a lot of things packed into its ~220 pages, yet none of it feels crowded or rushed, and every one of those pages flies by without you even noticing how much time has passed. Of course, the credit for this goes not only to the pacing of the plot but to Winsor's writing. It's not especially fancy, but it's not simplistic either. She used her language as a tool to get a point across, keeping her tone and word choice to something that suits young adults without talking down to them.
Aside from the aforementioned lady-in-waiting, I didn't have many problems with this book at all. My second and last complaint is the somewhat vague romance. Not much time is spent on it, and it's barely there, but it distracted me and it felt wholly unnecessary. That being said, it's not nearly enough to keep me from recommending this book. Overall, The Trickster is a delightful, quick read for any teen or adult to enjoy on a rainy day, maybe even curled up with your little guardian dog like Dilly's.