I received a copy of this book from the author in exchange for a honest review. Mark Cushen’s debut novel was released in May 2021 and Little White Hands is an enjoyable read for all ages. The proper audience for this book may lean more towards the YA genre but I thoroughly enjoyed the fun, quick paced story and the characters are a joy to follow. Let’s take a deep dive into why Little White Hands will leave readers of all ages with a smile.
Centuries ago there was a war between the four seasons and it is best to think about them for this story as deities. Winter refused to leave when it was time for the seasons to change to spring and started a war with the other three. Winter lost the war and was imprisoned at the bottom of an active volcano. Five centuries later, the world has never known the cold chills of winter but events will turn ice cold very quickly. Garland is a kitchen hand in the service of the king. Orphaned from a very young age, his job is to attend the knights and workers in the castle. One night on his way home, Garland comes across a dying man who says to him the Blue man has returned and he is looking for a key to free Winter from his prison. When Garland takes this information to his master, events unfold quickly and Garland is sent out on a mission to find the seasons and to tell them of this mysterious stranger. The road will be perilous for Garland and his friends, but Garland’s dreams have always been to become a knight and he is thirsty for this adventure.
What makes this story such a joy for me was the passion and excitement I got from reading the characters. Garland is pure of heart and will do anything to protect his friends from danger. As he grows his skills he will also grow as a person making hard choices in a difficult time. Along with Garland is the character Oldface. Oldface is essentially a spirit contained in a sculpted piece of wood. Not much to look at but the wealth of knowledge Oldface contains will be vital for the success of this mission. Garland will also come across a sly fox named trickster and you can guess at why this is his name. Many different types of creatures will be found in this world including, huge birds, wolves, and fairies and each one has a role within the story.
The writing style is easy to follow and has just the right pacing for a fun adventure. Even though there will be hardships along the way, the adventures for Garland are only just beginning and the ending will definitely show that. Don’t be misled by the cover thinking that this novel can’t be enjoyed by adults fantasy fans because it most certainly can. Sometimes in order to get through these heavy and epic tomes of the fantasy genre, I need a palate cleanser and Little White Hands was just the remedy I needed. This has my vote as a series to look out for with future volumes.