On the Horizon – the assassination of brangwain spurge (M.T. Anderson & Eugene Yelchin)

Ahoy there me mateys!  I received this middle grade fantasy eARC from NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.  So here be me honest musings . . .

the assassination of brangwain spurge (M.T. Anderson & Eugene Yelchin)

Title: the assassination of brangwain spurge

Authors: M.T. Anderson & Eugene Yelchin

Publisher: Candlewick Press

Publication Date: Available Now! (hardback, audiobook)

ISBN: 978-0763698225

Source: NetGalley

This be a goofy little book about goblin/elf relations as told through the experiences of two scholar-historians.  It sounds odd and it is but it is full of quirky delight.

On one side ye have the elf, Brangwain Spurge.  His nickname in school was “the Weed” but since his school days he became a rather upright fellow.  He has been tasked with taking a goblin artifact back to the goblins in the name of peace.  While Spurge has sworn to uphold his duty to the king, his superiors have ulterior motives that may actually lead Spurge to uphold his oath “to the death.”

On the other side ye have the goblin, Werfel.  He has been selected to be Spurge’s host and how he carries out those duties reflects on all goblin-kind.  From trying to procure food for the elven palate, to making sure the sheets are just so, to trying to show off the best that the goblin kingdom has to offer, Werfel is determined to do his utmost best.  It is endearing and fabulous to watch Werfel try to impress and comfort his elven counterpart.

Seriously, Werfel is adorable.  All he wants to do is swap stories with Spurge and become friends.  The story is told from his point of view.  The misunderstandings and shenanigans are delightful.  And yet Werfel does his duty, above and beyond really, when things all start to go wrong.

This book does have illustrations which are supposed to show Spurge’s point of view but I didn’t get to see many of them in me arc copy.  Yet what I did see was whimsical and silly.  Additionally there are excellent letters to the king from his spymaster updating Spurge’s progress.  They crack me up.  I need to get me hands on a hardcopy.  Because this book does deserve a second look.

This silly story does prove to have greater heart and purpose.  The message is one of friendship, overcoming cultural misunderstandings, how historical events have more than one viewpoint, and above all trying for peace in an uncertain future.  Werfel captured me heart and even stick-in-the-mud Spurge is viewed fondly in the end.

So lastly . . .

Thank you Candlewick Press!

Side note: Also thank you to matey Millie @ milliebotreads for letting me know about this book’s existence.  Arrr!

Goodread’s website has this to say about the novel:

To visit the authors’ websites go to:

M.T. Anderson – Author

Eugene Yelchin – Author

To buy the novel go to:

the assassination of brangwain spurge – Book

To add to Goodreads go to:

Yer Ports for Plunder List

Previous Log Entries for these Authors

feed (Captain’s Log – Young Adult Sci-Fi)

13 thoughts on “On the Horizon – the assassination of brangwain spurge (M.T. Anderson & Eugene Yelchin)

  1. I’m giggling because I have no idea what the difference between an elf and a goblin is. Should I picture a Christmasy elf, or an Orlando Bloom elf? Is it clear that the two cultures are actually two real cultures, or is it more like the book is about cultural differences in general?

    Liked by 2 people

    1. This comment made me giggle! An Orlando Bloom elf who is pretentious and has a stick up his butt. They really are two different cultures. That is where the fun of the mix-ups come in. The goblins try to make elf food for example to make the elf feel welcome. The elf thinks that they are making fun of him. His sense of humor was non-existent. It is a cute and weird read. Thanks for the comment and picturing the elf of the book as a christmas elf. Hardy har har!
      x The Captain

      Like

      1. Not on me post. But ye had me wondering. Apparently it was a National Book Award Finalist for Young People’s Literature (2018). I am glad of that. I am also going to include it in the top five underappreciated and random books of 2018 to read list. Whenever I finish writing that post!
        x The Captain

        Liked by 1 person

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