- N. N. Light
5 stars for Rosetta Gnome by Ashley Parker Owens #fantasy #gnomes #bookreview
Title: Rosetta Gnome
Author: Ashley Parker Owens
In a mash-up of Alice in Wonderland and Sun Tzu's the Art of War, an inexperienced gnome joins a group of misfits plotting to free enslaved gnomes from ogre fields.
In a mystical world where food gardens flourish with the help of magic, Wil stumbles into a misfit group of escaped slaves that eagerly embrace him into their clan. Over time, Wil learns the clan members are thieves and malcontents, determined to destroy the ogre overseers in revenge for their use of slave labor. His new clan prefers illicit trade to garden labor. Despite his bias against their thievery, Wil grows closer to his radical family as disaster strikes. A rebellious but beloved member seeks to take over the clan by murdering the current leader.
Shifting loyalties complicate the ensuing trial. Through a twist of fate, Wil finds himself in an unenviable leadership position. Wil’s first task includes executing the accused killer as an act of justice. Unable to carry out this cruelty, Wil hatches an escape plan for the alleged criminal.
As a leader, Wil faces an onerous internal dilemma. He can either adapt his beliefs to become an unethical leader to gain his clan’s freedom or he can continue to alienate his new family with his strict morality and possibly lose them all.
Torn between loyalty, morality, and survival, Wil must choose for the betterment of not only himself but his group of misfits. Gnome Wil lives a simple life with his rabbit friend Roddy until the village goes up in flames. Fleeing for their lives, they join up with a group of gnomes on the run. While some of the gnomes want to do bad things, Wil stays within the group. He’s willing to do whatever it takes to make things work, but as the more time passes, the more violent things get. One act of violence propels events and choices out of Wil’s control. Can Wil make the right decisions, or will he lose everything?
Rosetta Gnome is an intriguing fantasy adventure with a unique plot. As far as the annals of fantasy creatures go, there aren’t enough stories about gnomes. I love gnomes and this idea of a gnome hero drew me into the story. I enjoyed Wil as the hero and his growth is immense in Rosetta Gnome. There are quite a few themes going on in Rosetta Gnome, many of them dealing with survival, morality, and group dynamics. The plot moves at a good pace with a full cast of characters, both good and bad, to interact with. The ending was a little off-putting, at least to this reader. I wasn’t expecting that particular outcome, but I give full credit to the author for originality. Rosetta Gnome is perfect for fantasy readers, especially those looking for a fresh take on the genre. I look forward to reading the next installment in the series. Highly recommend!
My Rating: 5 stars
Buy it Now:
Amazon US https://www.amazon.com/dp/B09KMGBQF7
Amazon CA https://www.amazon.ca/dp/B09KMGBQF7
Amazon UK https://www.amazon.co.uk/dp/B09KMGBQF7
Ashley Parker Owens is an Appalachian writer, poet, and artist living in Richmond, Kentucky. While attending Eastern Kentucky University, she earned an MFA in Creative Writing. She also has an MFA in Visual Arts from Rutgers University. She is currently employed as a quality assurance software engineer.
My online resume with a comprehensive list of published images, poems, and prose can be viewed at my website https://www.ashleyparkerowens.com
Ashley is the owner of the indie press KY Story, proud publisher of twenty-six anthologies and chapbooks celebrating the Kentucky, Appalachian, and Southern voice. Several online art exhibitions are also available on this website. https://kystory.net
Gnome Stories Series
Gnome Harvest, 2021
Rosetta Gnome, 2021
Hollow Rigors of Gnome, 2022
Doll’s Eyes of Gnome, 2022
Euphoric Drift, 2018
Unruly Spirits, Dancing Girl Press, 2018
Puppet, Rinky Dink Press, 2018
Territorial Misfortune, 2017
Member of Bluegrass Writers
Participated in MadCap workshops
Bluegrass Writers Studio alumni
Relationships with KY Arts Council, Lexington Arts Council
Ello is the only social media I use regularly https://ello.co/ashleyparkerowens
Linkedin.com artwork and publishing account https://www.linkedin.com/in/ashley-parker-owens-39525480/ 313 connections
Note: I no longer use Facebook but it is still active
https://www.facebook.com/parker.owens1/ 334 followers
https://www.facebook.com/ashleyparkerowens 52 followers
Reviewed by: Mrs. N