United By Pop received a free copy of ‘Potter’s Boy in exchange for an honest review, all opinions are our own.
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Title: Potter’s Boy
Author: Tony Mitton
Purchase: Available in the UK and not yet available in the US
Overall rating: 5/5
Great for: Fans of Paulo Coehlo, F. C. Yee and Lian Hearn
Themes: Historical fiction, philosophy, young adult
Review: Poets penning novels should become more of a common thing. ‘Potter’s Boy’ was penned by prolific poet Tony Mitton and is full of the most lilting and lyrical of prose, which perfectly captures the spiritual essence of the story.
This Eastern-influenced novel is about exactly as the novel describes – Ryo, the son of a potter. When his small village is disturbed by passing bandits bent on destruction, and a cloaked stranger proves their only saviour, this sparks the first small flames of hope inside Ryo’s mind. Hope that life does not have to adhere to such a predictable path as sons following fathers. Hope that his life might lead him beyond the confines of the village parameters. Hopes that he may become the master of his own destiny.
The narrator is removed from the tale. He tells Ryo’s story from a distance, as well as also divulging the histories and inner-thoughts of others, and sometimes addressing the reader directly. These complex narrative layers mean the reader benefits from every type of narrative structure, as all are seamlessly combined here to provide a fully-rounded story. This removed perspective allows for an accurate depiction of events, without bias or acquiescence of a character’s self-editing to their own story.
This is a story evoking and instructive on the spirit of mindfulness and spirituality. The timeless message, imparted in the potter’s boy’s story, any individual can adapt to refer to their own life path. Simplistic language in a flowery style, similar in style to the traditional moralistic fables and fairy tales, truly drives home the clear-cut messages of self-empowerment. This novel, however, manages to be instructive without the moralistic and judgemental edge featured in many earlier tales.
This is a novel of an indefinable genre. This felt like a historic insight to lives of the past, an adventure quest plucked straight from the classic kingdom and high fantasy tomes, an ancient epic poem, a modern self-help guide, and a meditative and spiritual guide with added context all rolled into one neat bundle. The reader is invited to journey through all plausible genres as well as every possible emotion – both good and bad – to see the story to its end. This cleverly mirrors the cycle of life, and all life, and cleverly appeals to every reader, and all readers, to deliver its empowering messages.
This is periodic yet timeless. Simple yet profound. One story yet about all things. Chronicles one life yet all of life. I can only liken it to Paulo Coehlo’s ‘The Alchemist’, in terms of depth and subject matter, and I urge everyone to find themselves in the pages of this book. No less than 5/5 stars from me.