Splashdance Silver
Tansy Rayner Roberts

Cover

Tansy was about the width of a light beam away from achieving five stars. This is one of the funniest books I’ve read in a long time. It actually made me laugh out loud. The first author to do this for me was Terry Pratchett, but his last half dozen books or so haven’t been as funny. This review isn’t going to be about Terry though, I just wanted to give you a focus as to what ‘Splashdace Silver’ is like. Tansy is as good as Terry was at his peak

Now the details on ‘Splashdance Silver’…

I’ll give a (very) brief rundown on the plot, but avoid spoilers. The book begins with Kassa Daggarsharp, daughter of pirate Vicious Bigbeard Daggarsharp and pub dancer, recieving a package from daddy, which promptly explodes. Kassa’s father has been killed and the package was sent to her to allow her to collect her inheritance, the Splashdance Silver.

Of course being a pirate Vicious Bigbeard couldn’t just keep his loot in a safety deposit box and send Kassa a key. This would be too simple (and make an exceedingly short book). Kassa has to work extremely hard to get her inheritance, a vast pile of silver.

As can be expected with vast piles of silver there are a lot of other people who want it as well. And all of these other people go to extraordinary means to get it. Not all of their means are designed to be terribly healthy for Kassa.

That’s enough about the plot. I’m sure this has given you a fair idea of what the book is about.

From my description above this might not sound like a very new or interesting book. I didn’t want to spoil the book by mentioning all the really interesting things like the glint that turns Singespitter into a green sheep with purple wings. What this book lacks in major plot novelty, let’s face it the book is a pirate treasure hunt, it makes up for with amazing characters, situations and events.

Tansy has an outstanding grasp of story telling. Some of the characters are almost caricatures in their single mindedness, but this is part of what makes a lot of the humour work. I find humour a very difficult style to comment on. I know if something’s funny when I read it, but I can’t tell why.

There’s a few minor points that I think should have been edited out. The playing croquet with flamingos bit is a little too well know, though Tansy does give it an interesting spin with the pigeons. There was also a very thinly disguised attack on a particular religious sect which everyone is well acquainted with. Taking out both of these and some other very minor things would have made absolutely no difference to the story. It wanted have even lost it any of it’s humour.

The most annoying thing I read in the book was actually the authors bio. In particular the bit that says Tansy was born in 1978. I find it incredibly galling that someone so young can be so accomplished at writing. Of course this comment is purely motivated by jealousy on my part, being, as yet, a totally unsuccessful author myself. :)

So in conclusion to this review, ‘Splashdance Silver’ has all the elements necessary for a hilarious read. If, like me, you like a good laugh and have a warped sense of reality, then I strongly recommend having a look at this book. It’s damn good.

I’ll be eagerly awaiting Tansy’s next Mocklore novel. If she can keep up the style and the humour, I think I’ve found myself a replacement for Terry.