Blog Book Tour | “The Perfect Fool” by Bethany Zohner Herbert

Posted Saturday, 25 April, 2015 by jorielov , , , 0 Comments

Ruminations & Impressions Book Review Banner created by Jorie in Canva. Photo Credit: Unsplash Public Domain Photographer Sergey Zolkin.

Acquired Book By: 

I am a regular tour hostess for blog tours via Cedar Fort whereupon I am thankful to have such a diverse amount of novels and non-fiction titles to choose amongst to host. I received a complimentary copy of “The Perfect Fool” direct from the publisher Sweetwater Books (imprint of Cedar Fort, Inc) in exchange for an honest review. I did not receive compensation for my opinions or thoughts shared herein.

Curious to Read:

Aside from being a Court Jester once upon a moon, I have oft felt I need to dip back into the breadth of Renaissance stories, as I only visit the Medieval era on the lark of finding a title that interests me. You can be assured this is a limited affair, and the interesting bit to it is that I love the world of Kings, Queens, Lords, and the whole ‘scene’ of court life. There is a hankering to dig into the Renaissance to understand the origins of fine art as much as the incredible freedoms that came out of the period of great change and societal tolerance for differences in faith. It was a riveting time to say the least!

I have the tendency to opt for a drama over a comedy, satire, or folly filled story — in part, because my reading life is a good reflection of my tv serial and motion picture viewing preferences wheren I find it’s hard to find the sophisticated comedy (i.e. this reads ‘clean humour’) I find delightful when most releases are quite askewed to the gutter. I like to laugh but I don’t want my mind to be taken down a line of dialogue that deflects rather than uplifts.

Dramas are a bit more of a stable choice for me, but on occasion I find myself a bit curious about reading a fluffier story if only to take a proper hiatus from war dramas, historical biographical fiction, and my tendency to read heart wrenching women’s fiction and contemporary romance. Thus The Perfect Fool felt it might fit a void I’ve carved into my reading queue without realising I was missing a portion of literature on the softer and lighter side. Even if I were to be frank, most of the plays of Shakespeare which are my ‘go to’ mentions are the tragedies; except for one, Much Ado About Nothing and I have Emma Thompson to credit for that, as it was her adaptation in motion picture which convinced me of it’s charm.

Blog Book Tour | “The Perfect Fool” by Bethany Zohner HerbertThe Perfect Fool
by Bethany Zohner Herbert
Source: Direct from Publisher

Plucked from the streets to become a court jester, Farrago's life is simple and carefree. No one demands much of him, and that's exactly how he likes it. But everything changes when Farrago begins flirting with a scullery maid named Thea. And when Farrago learns the truth about Thea's identity, he must decide just how far he's willing to go for the chance to follow his heart.

This quirky medieval tale is a fun and romantic read - a charming balance of humour and suspense. With a plot that's full of twists, it's guaranteed to keep you guessing.

Genres: Historical Fiction

Places to find the book:

Borrow from a Public Library

Add to LibraryThing

Published by Sweetwater Books

on 14th April, 2015

Format: Paperback

Pages: 288

Published By: Sweetwater Books (@SweetwaterBooks),
an imprint of Cedar Fort, Inc (@CedarFortBooks)

Available Formats: Paperback, Ebook

Converse via: #ThePerfectFool or #PerfectFool *methinks it should be #PerfectFoolBook as the tags on Twitter are routing quite ‘unique’ references to both!

About Bethany Zohner Herbert

Bethany Zohner Herbert was born in Salt Lake City, and aside from a short amount of time living in England and the South, she is back in her native Idaho where she grew up. She has been a fan of books since before she could write.

She earned her Bachelor’s in creative writing from BYU-Idaho and her Master’s in literature and writing from Utah State University.

When not coming up with weird stories, she likes participating in and teaching Zumba, making crafts (silly ones like puppets) reading, and dating her husband.

My Review of The Perfect Fool:

Herbert nearly begins her story a bit in progress at the jump start, as despite appearances everything has taken to the stage in the plot, it is simply that we as readers need to ‘catch up’ to where the story is at as soon as we find ourselves within the first chapters! Farrago’s age was a bit of an issue for me, because at first I found myself curious if he was a young boy, a teenager, or someone in his early twenties; his age is a bit elusive although his heritage is a bit absence as well, being that he’s an orphan who lives on the streets. What compelled me to follow his footsteps is how honest he is about his situation and his station; he knows his lot and the hand he’s been dealt; yet he doesn’t give into it.

Fendral on the other hand is a bit of a quirky lead character as he reveals very little to both his apprentice-in-training Farrago and the reader alike! He’s a bit shady around the edges because it’s hard to sort out his motives and his reasons behind taking-on a person of unknown performance talent and teaching them the trade of being a court jester. Commonly referred to as the ‘fool’ where comic relief to the court and to the everyday people is what keeps them employed. By the time the two exchange duties with each other, Farrago matures into his adulthood. He keeps a quiet existence with only the peripheral attention given to the others who live at court. His mind is focused on stepping into Fendral’s shoes with such an ease and slight of movement to not let on that he wasn’t the fool everyone was used to seeing perform all along. It was am ambitious yet humbling goal to attempt to achieve.

As Farrago never intended to allow anyone to enter his life who he would appreciate knowing better than a friend, it took him a bit off guard to find himself attracted to Thea; the lowly scullery maid. Both of them are hiding bits of themselves from each other as Farrago has a serious side to him, even though he loves to be the life of the party, to tempt the new King away from his stress as he took over the throne too young to realise the importance of the role. Farrago is the type of bloke to go through life solo because he never thought he could aspire or dream of a life outside of being responsible for himself. He did take a keen interest in the other youngsters on the streets, as they looked out for each other naturally, but as far as finding what Frendal found? This was a bit outside the scope of where Farrago saw his own path leading him.

There is a lot of intensity inside this novel, as it’s not a true satire as much as it’s a bit of satire in a dire kingdom needing to go to war. There are certain passages that felt a bit uncomfortable for me, mostly when they involved punishment and/or torture to convince one of the characters they were not needed nor were they of any value. I’d rather have broader strokes in the story than to paint a visual of a man feeling as if he is losing his mind over facing his fear and finding that he isn’t strong enough to deal with it. There is a lot of angst for Farrago and blessedly a bit of love thrown in as well. As a whole, there were elements in the beginning that I loved reading about but as it started to arch into the middle bits to the ending, I wondered why the context had to shift a focus off friends aiding friends into a plight that was a bit brutal.

Why I could use a bit more satire and folly in my reading queues:

One thing is for certain, I am so out of step with humour in stories where drama is not center focus, I am thinking I need to start to seek out a bit more folly whilst queuing stories to read next! There is a definite silliness to reading The Perfect Fool as the background characters are not as fully rounded out as they would be in regular historical fiction novels; this is one reason I felt a bit out of step as I read the book, because it’s such a departure for me not to ‘know’ of whom is being referenced in a story! It felt awkward at first to only know of the King by a pet name of his people but when I thought about it, it’s not something a person like Farrago would put much weight in empathsising as he’s much more concerned about surviving. Despite this small hiccup, what held my interest was the compassion Frendal had for Farrago (he even gives him his name!) in the beginning. To take him out of his environment and attempt to give me a better way to live. Now that’s inspiring!

Better still is how Farrago is allowed to naturally evolve into his own skin, to take what Frendal had given him and use it to his betterment. The age issue disappeared once I reached a few more chapters in and realised even Farrago was not as sure of his age as I am! This makes sense as he practically grew up without guidance from elders and did not have a regular method of understanding how many years he’d have lived to be one age or another. It’s a sad fact of his life, but it’s his attitude about how he approaches how he is meant to live that gives this novel it’s heart.

If anything, I realise now that lighter stories that ebb out a happy heart of humour, comedy, and folly truly should be augmented against the more serious reads that I regularly enjoy devouring. I love to laugh and I love a wicked good comedy on the screen, thereby I ought to have realised this far sooner than now! It gives you a softer rounding of stories to read, wherein the seriousness of drama can take a back-seat and a lighter story-line can give you a burst of bubbles and octaves of joy! A bit like how I used to read a heap of Children’s Lit in-between reading adult titles; I would gather a nice bag of Middle Grade and/or Young Adult novels to consume prior to returning to the genres of choice which I’m addicted to exploring. The YA I like is more Calpurnia Tate than the Hunger Games, but nethertheless, it was a nice hiatus to breakaway from harder hitting narratives and opt instead for pensively reflective ones or a silly start that leads to such a heart-warming conclusion as found in Three Times Lucky!

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This Blog Tour Stop is courtesy of Cedar Fort, Inc:

Cedar Fort Publishing & Media Be sure to follow the rest of the blog tour:

The Perfect Fool by Bethany Zohner Herbert

Reader Interactive Question: (a story centered Q from the author)

{SOURCES: Book Cover Art for “The Perfect Fool”, author photo, author biography, book synopsis, blog tour badges and the badge for Cedar Fort Publishing & Media were provided by Cedar Fort Publishing & Media and used with permission. Post dividers badge by Fun Stuff for Your Blog via Pure Imagination. Ruminations & Impressions Book Review Banner created by Jorie in Canva. Photo Credit: Unsplash Public Domain Photographer Sergey Zolkin. }

Copyright © Jorie Loves A Story, 2015.

Tweets in regards to “The Perfect Fool”:

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Reading this book contributed to these challenges:

  • 2015 Historical Fiction Reading Challenge

About jorielov

I am self-educated through local libraries and alternative education opportunities. I am a writer by trade and I cured a ten-year writer’s block by the discovery of Nanowrimo in November 2008. The event changed my life by re-establishing my muse and solidifying my path. Five years later whilst exploring the bookish blogosphere I decided to become a book blogger. I am a champion of wordsmiths who evoke a visceral experience in narrative. I write comprehensive book showcases electing to get into the heart of my reading observations. I dance through genres seeking literary enlightenment and enchantment. Starting in Autumn 2013 I became a blog book tour hostess featuring books and authors. I joined The Classics Club in January 2014 to seek out appreciators of the timeless works of literature whose breadth of scope and voice resonate with us all.

"I write my heart out and own my writing after it has spilt out of the pen." - self quote (Jorie of Jorie Loves A Story)

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Posted Saturday, 25 April, 2015 by jorielov in 16th Century, Bits & Bobbles of Jorie, Blog Tour Host, Castles & Estates, Cedar Fort Publishing & Media, Childhood Friendship, Creative Arts, Debut Author, Debut Novel, Historical Fiction, Indie Author, Literature for Boys, Orphans & Guardians, Teacher & Student Relationships, the Renaissance (14th-17th Centuries)

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