Plot/Idea: Close Your Eyes: A Fairy Tale is a charming and romantic story featuring a cast of distinctive characters. Born in 1399 in Cologne, Samuel is a dwarf and becomes the King of Gora's jester. He soon makes friends with Agnieszka the cook and Tycho the storyteller, but must search for answers along his journey.
Prose: The text flows well enough, and the writing is strong. Some scenes would benefit from being more detailed, and the integration of additional historical context would help strengthen the setting and storyline.
Originality: Besides a few major titles, and a score of medieval "romances," the subject of the 1400s is not overly plentiful. The text here discusses love and the lives of a cook, jester, and storyteller, whereas other works might typically focus on knights and princesses. Even so, the narrative style falls into works that use letters or a fictional writer to tell the story after the fact, and some might ask, what's the greater meaning of setting up the story like this, instead of merely following the characters through an omniscient authorial narrator.
Character Development/Execution: Characters are colorful, endearing, and intriguing, while their motivations remain realistic and convincing.
Date Submitted: May 09, 2022
A surreal romantic odyssey that transports you to medieval-era Europe, to a time of fearsome kings, beautiful princesses, forbidden love, and politically motivated arranged marriages, Close Your Eyes is an exploration of love in a myriad of its forms. Filled with romance, courtroom drama, humor, and heartbreak, Chris Tomasini's ode to love is an enthralling read from start to finish. The delightful prose and quick-witted dialogue make the narrative breeze past without a single hitch. The characters are brimming with life, and their colorful personas make them pop out of the pages. Samuel, Tycho, Ahab, Agnieszka, and Alexandra are likable characters you can't help rooting for. I thoroughly enjoyed Close Your Eyes. If you enjoy historical romantic fiction, I highly recommend it.
Close Your Eyes: A Fairy Tale by Chris Tomasini is not at all what you expect it to be. From start to finish this book surprised me with how captivating it was. I found myself enjoying this book so much, especially in the way it is written. This book unfolds as a fairy tale told by Samuel and that seems to give it a certain charm. Although Samuel is only taught to read and write later in his life, his ability to share the tales of his friend gave an even more charming aspect to this story as a whole. The book is well written and the characters are interesting and so easy to empathize with that you become enchanted as you go through the various tales of each character. You truly wish to know more and see more of their lives and what they’ve been through. This book was really beautifully done and I would highly recommend it.
The literary style explores love and revelations during a time of religion and is set within a kingdom mostly unnoticed by the Pope, Christian kings, and the Holy Roman Empire. These historical details help to establish the story in a specific time period with a writing style that reflects the storytelling of that time. The story is narrated by Samuel who tells a tale about his friend Tycho through whom he learns to understand love and the heart. The reflective nature of the writing creates a hint of sadness and nostalgia. Chris Tomasini weaves a successful story within a story with Samuel's commentary and thoughts on Tycho's story, which is one he's writing. Its a complex structure that works well with the premise and pulls you into the tone of a fairy tale, the historical setting, and the attitudes of the characters. Tycho's stories are an important part of the plot and each one stands out as an extension of the character with a poignancy that Tomasini uses well within the literary style. The belief in love is at the heart of Tycho's story and taking a chance on love defines what Samuel learned through watching his friend's journey. Blending a historical setting, the beautiful tone of a fairy tale, and the poignant presence of the past, Close Your Eyes explores the belief in love through the narration of a jester watching from the outside as love unfolds.