We’re deviating from our usual posting schedule to bring you another blog tour! Say hello to Mage of Fools by Eugen Bacon!
In Mafinga, the men are dead, the sun will kill you, and stories are banned. With the king under the thumb of the sorcerer Atari, there’s little hope for the women and children left behind. And yet, resistance is brewing.
When an old flame reappears in Jasmin’s life and the forbidden story machine she’d so carefully hidden is discovered, the factory worker and her children are thrown headlong into a plot that will change Mafinga forever.
Mage of Fools is a gorgeously written dystopian standalone, fuelled by exciting world-building and clever literary references. It’s a short read, clocking in at under 200 pages, but it packs a punch regardless. Lyrical prose unveils huge, dangerous, world-changing secrets, and it’s all anchored by Jasmin – capable, driven, and refusing to be silenced any longer.
Bacon has a lot to say here – wealth, power, gender roles, colonisation, and political motives all get a look in – but it’s the relationship between culture, history, and story that really shines. The banned story machines and forbidden books of Mafinga are not only a link to a past that Atari would see wiped out, but also fuel the rebellion to come. It is through stories that Jasmin keeps her dead husband’s memory alive; it is through stories she connects with her children and makes important allies; it is through stories that Mafinga can reclaim and rebuild.
It feels rare to find a novel of dystopian rebellion that isn’t part of a larger series and, if I’m being honest, it was really refreshing. There’s enough here that Bacon could revisit Mafinga at any time, but Mage of Fools more than satisfies as is. A perfect read if you loved Mikhaeyla Kopievsky’s Divided Elements series, or simply believe in the power of stories.
Eugen Bacon’s Mage of Fools is out now, available through Meerkat Press.
Find out more about author Eugen Bacon HERE.
If you’d like to team up for a blog tour, you can contact me HERE.