Light as a Feather
Author: Jane Tesh
There is unquestionably a place in this world for light fantasy fiction. Sometimes I want to get lost in complex worlds, intricately developed characters and long, multi-book story arcs. Maybe a lot of times. But there are also those times when I just want to take my mind off the troubles of the day with something light and fluffy that doesn’t have Fabio on the cover (to those who got that reference – kudos on your pop culture knowledge of the 80s and your advanced age, we are kindred spirits). Author Jane Tesh, who also writes the Grace Street Mysteries, understands that as well, and so gives us Butterfly Waltz.
Butterfly Waltz is the story of four people – or rather three people and one being. The three people are Desmond, a musician with a troubled past; Jake, a carefree tabloid reporter; and Christine, who seems ripe to appear in one of Jake’s stories. Because she can supposedly talk to the flowers in her garden. And then there’s Kalida. Not human, and the force that brings the other three together.
I don’t want to tell you too much about the story. Suffice to say that Jake and Desmond meet the women in search of a story, bur motives evolve along the way and there is magic and bad guys involved. The reason I don’t want to tell you more is that the story itself is light as a feather, and to dive into any of it would reveal too much. If you want to enjoy Butterfly Waltz, you’ll need to eat it whole – which you can do in a matter of a few hours.
The characters are as light as the plot – developed a little bit, but not so much that you feel the need to know more than is there on the surface. They’re likable but easily forgotten. The world that Kalida comes from is similar – we learn some, but just enough to serve the immediate needs of this small story. The good guys are good, the bad guys are bad, there’s a little paranormal, a little romance, a little mystery.
Take all of this as you will – either as an indictment of something too thin to be worth your time as a reader, or as a validation that there’s a book out there written to appeal to fantasy fans without requiring a commitment of more than an afternoon. Tesh has already shown a penchant for dabbling in the supernatural in her Grace Street series, and she takes it a step further with this stand alone, but this is definitely not a book for hard core fantasy readers. It’s light and fluffy and if you take it for what it is, you’ll likely enjoy your afternoon with Butterfly Waltz. 3 1/2 stars out of 5.
My thanks to Mayglenn McCombs for sending me a review copy of Butterfly Waltz.