I put off reading The Books of Umber: Happenstance Found because I couldn’t get past the cover. I still think it is a weird cover, but I’m glad I didn’t let it stop me from encountering this magical tale. PW Cantanese has created a world filled with magic and monsters and mystery.
Happenstance awakens in a dark room in an underground city. His mind is as dark as the world around him, but as he encounters new things, his brain provides the words for it. There is just one thing he cannot know or remember: who is is and where he came from.
He joins a group of adventurers who seem to have come to the underground city just to find him. Lord Umber leads the group on endless adventures. The shy Sophie is an archer and becomes a loyal friend. Oates is bound to tell the truth even when it hurts. Even as Happenstance is eager to learn the mysteries of his past, Lord Umber is hiding secrets of his own. Neither are from this world, but both may have a chance to save a world from destruction.
But first, Happenstance must escape from the evil Occo, who is chasing him across the sea and who will stop at nothing to get what he wants. Just what powers (besides seeing in the dark and not needing sleep) does Happenstance have?
I still don’t like the cover (though I get where the images came from), but I definitely want more of the Books of Umber.