Bottspyder is a novel by Malcolm Brown. Bottspyder is the offspring of the ambitious wife of the Duke of Yeovold and a demon named Darren. (Mephistopheles was busy.) The King of the land has died and left an infant to succeed him and the Duke of Yeovold as the Lord Protector. She has Bottspyder as a way to increase her power, but immediately regrets it and decides to dedicate her life to opposing the demonic child. There are other children around who are less demonic as well as a magician, a witch and a terrifying Mother Superior. Add in some dwarves, both union and non-union and a company of players and you have a cast of characters for a memorable romp.
Malcom’s style is somewhere between Terry Pratchet and Mervyn Peake. There are elements of comedy and tragedy mixed with a liberal hand. He never lets either get in the way of telling a great story. Characters change sides, get lost and found and lost again on the way to the final show down.
I very much enjoyed this book in which the story is crafted with as much care and art as the cover illustration. None of the characters are cardboard cutouts. The villains have hints of a heart and the heroes are tested to the edge of their endurance. I would heartily recommend this book to anyone who enjoys a good tale.
You can buy this book at Malcolm’s page at Lulu.com