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The Hobgoblin Bell Strikes Twelve
X. Trevelyan

The Hobgoblin Bell Strikes Twelve
X. Trevelyan
X. Trevelyan is first and formost a reader who loves fables, tales of the magical and mystical, and whose imagination was captured by Charles Dickens's other christmas story, The Chimes.

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A review by Nathan Brazil

'The master peered into the gloom, raising his lantern high in an attempt to discern the man's face, but his features remained in shadow, as his great cloak whipped about him like a tattered banner.'
X. Trevelyan is a pseudonym for a published fantasy writer who wishes to present this story as entirely separate to his other works. I shall, therefore, be like dad and keep mum. The author describes this work as; "A magical mid-winter fable about an orphaned girl, a clock-tower, a strange bell, and a mysterious figure. A mystical tale of lost causes and hidden things. A children's story for those children and adults who are still awake enough to listen. A tale for the dead of winter, long after Christmas is past."

The craft of writing short stories is a very different skill to that of a novelist, and being able to accomplish one is never a guarantee that the other will be its equal. In this case, however, X. Trevelyan manages to produce something that has charm, style, and just enough substance to create its own micro-world. There's also a subtly encouraged sense of something that comes from another age, and has perhaps been overlooked by those compiling wintry fables for children.

For grownups, The Hobgoblin Bell Strikes Twelve may come up a little short on explanations concerning the ethereal mechanics of how what is portrayed can work. There just isn't the room for that kind of exposition. However, older readers only need to cast their minds back to a time in their lives when the devil in such detail did not matter as much, and the story shimmers nicely before the mind's eye. I particularly liked the fact that the theme, while gently presented, was not sugar-coated or over-simplified. It is easy to imagine a younger child enjoying this very much if read to by an adult.

So, for those with a Kindle -- or the means to convert Kindle format to other digital media -- The Hobgoblin Bell Strikes Twelve is a worthy download.

Copyright © 2012 Nathan Brazil

Nathan Brazil
If Nathan Brazil were dyslexic, he'd be the dog of the Well world. In reality, he's an English bloke who lives on an island, reading, writing and throwing chips to the seagulls. Drop by his web site at

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