“Nothing we do is ever done entirely alone. There is a part of us in everyone else.”
I listened to a podcast once where the speakers pointed out that the best stories are “miscasts.” The Lord of the Rings, where a Hobbit is cast in the role of epic hero, is perhaps the best example of this.
“The Book of Three” is similarly a case of miscast making great story. A young Assistant Pig-Keeper, a chatty and over sensitive little princess, a king-turned-bard whose harp stings snap when he lies (he is forever replacing them), a part man part whatever, and a horse are the main cast of characters. Only the horse feels like it isn’t out of place. And it is incumbent upon this “unlikely band” to save the kingdom. Sort of.
And it works. It sounds like it shouldn’t work, and in the hands of a lesser writer maybe it wouldn’t, but it works. Traditional fantasy characters–Merlin and Arthur/Lancelot–enter the cast, but mostly it’s just a bit mad and surprisingly epic.
Seriously, the plot hinges on a seeress pig psychically communicating with a prince. Which everyone takes very, very seriously. This book is awesome.