By EM Anderson
Publisher: Hanson House
Print Length: 384
Release Year: 2023
Avg. Goodreads Rating: 4.5
You’re never too old for adventure.
When you’re a geriatric armed with nothing but gumption and knitting needles, stopping a sorcerer from wiping out an entire dragon-fighting organization is a tall order. No one understands why 83-year-old Edna Fisher is the Chosen One, destined to save the Knights from a dragon-riding sorcerer bent on their destruction. After all, Edna has never handled a magical weapon, faced down a dragon, or cast a spell. And everyone knows the Council of Wizards always chooses a teenager—like the vengeful girl ready to snatch Edna’s destiny from under her nose.
Still, Edna leaps at the chance to leave the nursing home. With her son long dead in the Knights’ service, she’s determined to save dragon-fighters like him and to ensure other mothers don’t suffer the same loss she did. But as Edna learns about the abuse in the ranks and the sorcerer’s history as a Knight, she questions if it’s really the sorcerer that needs stopping—or the Knights she’s trying to save. (Goodreads)
In association with Hear Our Voices Book Tours.
The Remarkable Retirement of Edna Fisher immediately sets itself from other chosen one fantasy novels with its title alone. For many, the chosen one trope has overstayed its welcome and leaves little room for originality. Anderson throws that notion out the window with this wonderful subversion of the norm.
Edna is charming and full of gumption. She’s 83 years old and ready for action because while she’s lived a long life, that doesn’t mean it has to be over. She’s an eccentric elderly lady who somehow manages even to defy the eccentric old lady tropes! Other than masterful subversion and exploring deeper implications of old-age tropes, Anderson achieves a well-written story full of whimsy and refreshing diversity. It explores your standard themes of love and loss, but in ways, authors tend to stray away from it because “there’s no market for it.” Enda reminds us that even unlikely persons can be chosen, and her story is just as expectation-defying as she is.
Fantasy is challenging, and Anderson manages to create a world so close to ours but full of magic. And not only is it full of magic, but it’s magic that makes sense, not because it’s a hard magic system. It’s full of things we’ve heard of and have some understanding of how they work in a fantasy setting, even if there is no hard science around it. From dragons to magic carpets, its simple but manages to add delicious flavour to a complex world.
This was a thoroughly enjoyable read that was fulfilling and light. You walk away with a smile on your face and filling satisfied. If you’re a fan of Diana Wynne Jones or even the antics of Golden Girls, Edna is your girl. Life’s too short to miss out on the fun.