Title: Delivering Virtue
Author: Brian Kindall
Genre: Fantasy, Literary
Date of Publication: November 7, 2015
Publisher: Diving Boy Books
When Didier Rain, a broke scoundrel, is approached to fulfill a prophecy foretold by the The Church of the Restructured Truth, the offer is too good to pass up. He must transport the baby Virtue, the church’s prophet’s child bride, over a thousand miles across the western pioneer trail. During his journey, he meets many peculiar and interesting characters, and he just so happens to learn something about himself along the way.
Delivering Virtue is an 1854 Western historical fiction, a fantasy, an adventure, an allegory. It’s definitely a genre-bender. Readers need to approach this book with an open mind. I have to admit there were a few times I was taken aback, because I thought I’d known where the story was going (and I’d clearly had no idea). This is a book that you can’t read too literally. There are quite a few WTF moments, but you just have to remember it’s allegory and try not to be too traumatized by what Didier does.
Didier is an engaging and funny main character. As the novel progresses he is depicted as a scoundrel who is trying to do the right thing. As he makes questionable decisions and does despicable acts, I found it hard to decide if I loved or hated him. He was equally charming and grotesque. I love characters that make you question everything. I’m still having a hard time deciding if I met him on the street in real life, whether I would invite him for a cup of coffee or punch him in the face.
Didier meets plenty of other distinctly eccentric characters throughout his journey “delivering Virtue”. Some are more interesting and three-dimensional than others, but they all contribute in some way to Didier’s character development and growth.
Kindall’s writing style is fluid and impeccable, with plenty of imagery and whimsical description. While literary, it’s a fast read. Kindall has found a fine balance between exploring vocabulary and experimental prose and keeping the text readable.
I recommend this book to anyone who’s looking for a literary read that isn’t too heavy. However, are some parts that can only be described as “depraved” (although not too detailed), so readers should go into this with a trigger warning.
* Thank you to Brian Kindall for sending me a copy to review! *
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