Book Review: The Fiddler’s Gun by A.S. Peterson

The Fiddler's GunThe Fiddler’s Gun
Fin’s Revolution: Book One
A.S Peterson
Rabbit Room Press, December 2009
ISBN: 978-0-615-32542-2
Trade Paperback

Phinea Button was born a girl, which was unfortunate since her father was convinced she would be a boy. Unwilling to provide for yet another female, he leaves her at the local orphanage where she has spent the last 17 years. Smart, tough and determined to live her own life, she is the bane of all those around her. It seems inevitable then that she will end up in the biggest adventure of her life, and all because of a fiddler’s gun. Will she ever make it home to the life she has dreamed of and the man she loves?

I loved this book from start to finish right from the descriptions of daily life in the orphanage to the last swash-buckling swish. That’s right folks, there’s the high seas among those pages. Phinea, or Fin as she’s affectionately called is intelligent and brave but spends most of her time fighting against stereotypes and other’s prejudices. Her daily battle with Hilde is wonderful but ultimately, it’s the relationships between characters that are the real gems, Bartimaeus being my favourite. For once, it was nice to read a female title character that defied all expectations. Yes, she falls in love but that’s not far into the story and is almost an afterthought. She still goes off and has her adventure on the high seas and battles with the best and worst of men. She works just as hard as them, is savvier than most and earns her place amongst the roughest, kindest and cruellest alike. She saves and is saved and you can’t help but love her for it.

Let’s just say, as soon as I finished this book, I was immediately looking for the second title. Unfortunately for me, I was sitting in a coffee shop in Nuremberg at the time so a download was not forthcoming. I have however, managed to buy a copy when I returned home and am desperately trying to find a minute to sit down and devour it.

Authors take note, when writing female characters, take a leaf out of Peterson’s book. Not all women are happy shopping, obsessing about the colour pink, their looks, children and knowing their ‘place’. We also have dreams, hopes, desires, ambition and a wish for a life better than this. Fin carves out her path with aplomb, makes many mistakes along the way and fights for what is right. She’s a darn sight closer to what women are really like than the usual chick lit offerings and it’s about time we see more of them in books. Now, where’s me cutlass? Garrr!

Reviewed by Laura McLaughlin, April 2013.