The Fetching of Spring by Reg Down
This novel began as an older children's story, but it soon became clear that it was an adult tale.
The Golden Bird has been stolen (apparently) and Tik-Tak is sent to fetch it. The naive and dreamy youth rides southwards (it’s warmer in that direction), gets kicked out of two kingdoms, meets Erce-Ma, loses his hopeless steed, gains a (much) better one, stumbles into the Undwelling and its townships, descends into Akkman’s Dwell, rescues the bird (and other abductees), returns (still not fully awake) with the bird, refuses the hand of the Princess (what!), becomes a successful entrepreneur, is jailed > is released > then steals the bird (wrong order, I know, but that’s the truth), returns to Spring, returns to Tansa, gets familied, assumes the kingship and unites the Three Kingdoms (well, it’s a work in progress).
The Fetching of Spring, written with a (sometimes) humorous nod to the fairy tale, has a deadly serious subtext. It is an awakening tale, the story all of us are in whether we like it or not. Setting out from the Kingdom of the Golden Bird our (inordinately) nascent hero descends via the earthly into contemporary sub-earthly realms. The story (and it is a story in the sense of storytelling) ends with worn-shoe idealism and a peppering of satire to spice things up.
248 pages, 5.5 x 8.5, soft cover.