"If there's a single word that describes THE PRINTER'S DEVIL, it's 'distinctive', no small achievement in genre fantasy. [The] plot, reduced to its barest bones, is familiar; it's in the execution that Kidd brings freshness to the scenario.
"The first distinctive characteristic is the mechanism of the magic. Alan Bellman, at an obscure bell tower, runs across the first clue to the legacy of Roger Southwell, [who] it seems, was connected with noted bell-ringer Fabian Stedman.
"[They] are not the predictable Elizabethans usually encountered in these literary waters, but denizens of the 17th century. Kidd's evocations of the period resonate with the unique religious and political tensions of the day.
"Kidd wields an assured hand over the novel's sometimes complicated point-of-view. We get a pleasant sense of the relationship between Alan and photographer Kim Sotheran, and a foreboding account of Alan's growing subservience to Southwell's ghost. Kidd's skill in this regard is all the more remarkable in a first novel.
"The drama is sustained through. an intense climax... It's difficult to present something fresh in a confrontation-with-Hell sequence, but Kidd pulls the feat off admirably.
"An affectionate tale of supernatural suspense twines ghostly and diabolic forces with a love of art and scholarship to produce one of the most readable such yarns in quite some time."
"Chico Kidd makes the first fantasy novel about bellringing a most engaging one. Alan and Kim make very identifiable protagonists.
"The 17th-century sections are written in that time's prose style; [they] become almost poetic once one masters the cadences (and quite funny when one deciphers the banter and insults). Kidd shows the 17th century to be a place more alien than some faraway planets.
"THE PRINTER'S DEVIL conducts itself masterfully, and readers with an ear for music will be singing its praises."
John S. Hall, STARLOG
"Bellringing buffs should get a kick out of THE PRINTER'S DEVIL, which centers on bellringers of the past and present, and a demon raised by a printer's journeyman turned sorcerer. The events of the 1600s are chronicled by Fabian Stedman - historically, the inventor of the change-ringing pattern known as Stedman... a deep thinker (he comes up with the idea of fingerprints on his own!) who lards his journal with Latin quotes and speculates on magic and religion. The contemporary characters are a married couple of opera fans who ring bells as a hobby. He is oddly drawn to the story of the sorcerer/bellringer; she realizes that an evil magic out of the past threatens to take over. Kidd does a good job of evoking the feel of Cromwell's England, while bringing an interestingly different magic to life in this engaging first novel."
Carolyn Cushman, LOCUS
Chico shadow
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Click the bookcover for a downloadable PDF of the whole novel (you'll need Acrobat Reader -- this is free from a number of sources if you don't already have it.)