“Bertha Maude Anderson. Never liked my given name. Don’t it sound like some maiden aunt no one ever heard about until someone pulls a family tree out of a tattered Bible and all of a sudden there she is? Ma said I was scatterbrained. Mayhap she was right, if it’s any indication of the way my life turned out.” This is the beginning of Inzared, Queen of the Elephant Riders. When the circus comes to a tiny town in the Appalachian Mountains of North Carolina, Bertha Maude Anderson falls in love. First with Cecil the elephant and shortly thereafter with his owner and trainer, Paytre (pronounced Peter). She decides to leave her life of toil and struggle and run away with the circus. Her journey leads her to true love, new friends, fame and danger as she becomes immersed in the world of the Gypsies and chooses her own path in life.

Sissy:  I saw Inzared, Queen of the Elephant Riders on Amazon and had to try it out just because the title was so fabulous.  It turned out to be quite a good book, so then my next task was to convince Bubby to read it.  I’ve told you before that Bubby is a first class book snob, and getting her to read such a “colorful” sounding book took some doing.  I admit that this premise is not our usual, but life would be boring if we never changed things up, right?  I begin by saying that Inzared’s parents are pretty much nudnicks, and I despised them.  They treat her so badly, you find yourself rooting for her to run away and join the gypsy circus.  Now in what universe would grown people be encouraging children to run away with the gypsies?  And join the circus?  In this North Carolina hillbilly universe, I guess.

Bubby: Ahem. I feel slighted and insulted by the above comments. Book snob? Nay! Let us rather say, perhaps, that I am a bit choosier than the average girl (Sissy) when it comes to my reading material. Was I reluctant to read Inzared, Queen of the Elephant Riders? Yes. Am I glad I read it? Well, it wasn’t my favorite book of all time, but it wasn’t horrible either. Sissy seems to have fallen in love with it – in fact I am waiting for the elephant delivery truck to back up to her garage any day now. I am not quite so enamored but it was interesting and worth a read.

Sissy: Hey now! Mayhap you should stop lollygagging and start broadening yer horizons. Do I need to remind you that you were doing hillbilly talk for a while after you read this book? Just because L. Leander drops the nouns at the beginning of some sentences in true hillbilly style don’t mean that this particular brand of colloquialism ain’t capable of fittin’ into yer snooty patootie literary world!  Inzared (can’t stand to call her Bertha Maude)  is actually a very complex character who experiences  many things in her life and grows by leaps and bounds in positive ways.  And I am happily awaiting the sequel.

Bubby: I am truly at a loss for words. Sissy has fallen off the turnip truck. I am concerned for her well-being! Seriously, though, it is refreshing to read something completely different every once in a while. Inzared is a well-written, interesting tale that left me guessing the whole time. There was absolutely nothing predictable anywhere in this book. How could there be? I mean we’ve got circus people (The Amazing WolfBoy, The Human Skeleton, The 500-Pound Woman), acrobats, elephants, gypsies, wagons, the whole nine yards! We have a mysterious saboteur, travel, excitement . . .I could just go on and on.

Sissy: So in all actuality, circus life is probably not that glamorous but for Inzared, her dream come true love and found purpose make it wonderful for her. I am not needing to escape an abusive back-water lifestyle but this book tempted me to change my name to Naztrillia, Queen of the Human Nightingales and wear a huge sparkling ostrich-plumed headdress.

Bubby: OK, then. Guess I know what to buy Sissy (aka Queen of the Insane Bird People) for her next birthday. I wonder where the Vegas showgirls get their costumes and if they sell them on EBay?

Sissy: That’s better than what I’m buying you for your birthday- – a porcelain teacup with roses and a pinkie splint. (For those of you who are confused, read the Friday Favorites post from 01/11/2013).   Naztrillia, Queen of the Human Nightingales highly recommends Inzared, Queen of the Elephant Riders by L. Leander. 3 1/2 bubbles.

Bubby: Bubby, Sole Remnant of the Sane People also recommends this book. 3 bubbles (with pink feathers on top)!

© Bubble Bath Books 2013