Reviews Logo
SearchHomeContents PageSite Map
D.M. Cornish
HarperVoyager, 506 pages

D.M. Cornish
D.M. Cornish was born in 1972. He is a fantasy author and illustrator from Adelaide, South Australia. He spent most of his childhood drawing, as well as most of his teenage and adult years as well. And by age eleven he had made his first book, called "Attack from Mars." He studied illustration at the University of South Australia, where he began to compile a series of notebooks, beginning with #1 in 1993 and, over the next ten years, he filled 23 journals with his pictures, definitions, ideas and histories of his world, the Half-Continent.

D.M. Cornish Website
ISFDB Bibliography
SF Site Review: Lamplighter
SF Site Review: Foundling

Past Feature Reviews
A review by John Enzinas

Factotum is the third and final installment of The Foundling's Tale (formerly The Monster Blood Tattoo), being the chronicles of Rosamund Bookchild. Probably the best way to describe this series would be Historical Fantasy. D.M. Cornish has taken the flavour of the 18th century and added monsters, alchemy and bio-engineering from Dr. Frankenstein's wildest dreams. Having seen Rosamund travel to his apprenticeship in the first and serve his country in the second, we now see him entering into service as the Factotum of Europe, a famous monster hunter and Noble who used her royal clout to rescue Rosamund from the machinations of his superior officers.

Rosamund does well in his lady's service, until on a day off, he chances to make a friend who brings him to an secret Monster-Baiting club. Undone by his good nature, he uses his alchemical potions to rescue a monster from the ring. Although he escapes in a most hair-raising manner, he is still identified and tracked back to Europe's mansion by the owner of the club, Pater Maupin. He promises vengeance on Rosamund and those who succor him, but Europe finds his threats empty and drives him off.

Still she decides that perhaps leaving town for some time would be wise, and agrees to some hunting contracts. While on their journey, they are attacked by Maupin's men and only just survive. They meet with some new friends of like mind who give them refuge while they heal and it is with a heavy heart that they leave their company. Still, they cannot stay away from Brandenbrass forever and so once they are able to travel once more, they return to see what lay in store for them.

They discover some terrible news from Rosamund's old station, but are relieved by the few silver linings that dark cloud contains. Europe begins planning a lavish party to celebrate her return but she keeps many of the details from Rosamund. And from there, the series is resolved.

I adored the first two books and I felt great trepidation before reading this. All too often I have been disappointed by nonsensical twists or frustrating choices by the author which spoil the formerly loved books with its taint. I held my breath with each chapter, as it got better and better wondering if this one was the one where the shark would be jumped. It never happened. I am happy to say that this is a fantastic conclusion to the series. Cornish wraps up the all of the loose ends, and while it might have been more satisfying to have Rosamund involved in some of the resolutions of his various nemeses, it probably works out better that he doesn't. He is not a character for whom vengeance is a crucial thing and his fair mindedness is part of what makes him such a courageous hero.

In the end, everyone gets the ending they deserve, and while it may not be the ending I would have preferred, it was the right ending and, for that reason, I praise Cornish's skill all the more.

Copyright © 2010 John Enzinas

John Enzinas reads frequently and passionately. In his spare time he plays with swords.

SearchContents PageSite MapContact UsCopyright

If you find any errors, typos or anything else worth mentioning, please send it to
Copyright © 1996-2014 SF Site All Rights Reserved Worldwide