This is a gentle fantasy novel with several interlocking stories. The interlocking theme is Magic, an enigma right until the end. I loved the child protagonists Talo and Flaur, and was fond of Prince Ruiak and Villa his man servant. Another intriguing story within the novel is that of the Witch and her daughter, drawing on traditional motifs of completing challenging tasks.
This is a book for people of all ages, from young children to older adults. It will appeal to boys and girls and to men and women. I look forward to reading more from Marco Bertamini.
"Bianca and Other Contrived Short Stories" is a fine first collection by Marco Bertamini. The illustrations are also beautiful and capture the variety of stories told. I really enjoyed 'Love', which is really witty and made me think! Holiday reminded me of times past and childhood innocence. Old and Young is also another favourite.
There is a wistfulness in some of these stories, a sense of nostalgia for times past. In others a sharp wit that makes you think.
Some stories are suitable for everyone, children and adults, some are written for an older audience. It is a collection with something for everyone. I would recommend this for everyone.