The Magical Meniscus by GranRan

The Magical Meniscus by GranRan
Publisher: NuSaga Press
Genre: Childrens, Sci-Fi/Fantasy, Contemporary
Length: Full Length (150 pages)
Age Recommendation: 8+
Rating: 4 Stars
Reviewed by Astilbe

In Fairytale Land, there lives a gentle-hearted cyclops known as Cleo who wears bells on his large toes. Headaches plague the one-eyed giant, causing Cleo problems at work, at home, and with his girlfriend, Nellie. The migraines force Cleo to seek help from a powerful wizard. He must battle witches, ogres, and a bog creature. Will perseverance and determination be enough for Cleo to fix his headaches and win true love from Nellie? This tale includes sixteen illustrations.

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As someone who dealt with many stubborn headaches when I was growing up, it was so cool to read a story about a character who had the same problem. This isn’t something that’s talked about much in children’s fiction, but I would have loved to read about it when I was a kid. It was nice to see some representation for this health issue, especially since Cleo’s headaches kept coming back and resisted so many of the different cures he tried for them.

This is a minor criticism, but it would have been helpful to have more descriptions in this story. The plot itself was a great deal of fun to read. What it was missing were more detailed descriptions of the characters and setting. I knew what the personalities of the characters were like and what it might feel like to visit the places they saw, but I wasn’t so clear on what they all physically looked like. If not for this, I would have easily gone for a five-star rating as everything else about it was quite well done.

One of my favorite things about this tale was how self-aware it was. There were a few times when certain characters made comments that let the reader know that these individuals knew they were in a fantasy setting and had some idea of what generally happens in those worlds. This is something I always enjoy reading about, so it was a real treat to realize that I’d stumbled across yet another book that managed to both remain true to its genre and poke gentle fun at itself at the same time.

I’d recommend The Magical Meniscus to anyone who enjoys fantasy that includes a slightly modern twist to it.