4 out of 4 stars
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“Ladies and Gentlemen. I would like to thank you for joining us on our final performance. I know, I know, it has been fun. And it seems as if we only just met, but we cannot tarry any longer, for the road of wander and wonder calls us all back again.” And so, Gemini, the entertainer and the Messenger of the Twelve, opens up the dramatic comedy play that runs through The Court of Capricorn. Buckle up — because this theater script, written by Christopher Range, will come to life before your eyes as the characters enchantingly perform. The plot, along with these imaginary actors, will shake your emotions, boost your creative thinking, question your beliefs, and stimulate your intellect.
Twelve characters — four brothers symbolizing the four cardinal directions and the four elements (Earth, Water, Air, and Fire), four sons, and four representatives — are invited by Capricorn, the Lord of the Southern Realm of Earth, to the mountain where he built “a magnificent garden” to unify all four corners of the world and to celebrate the coming of age of his adopted daughter, Virgo, who is a reflection of perfection. It’s been a long time since they all gathered in one place. While the excitement of everyone seems to highlight the joy of reunion, old animosities arise too. Will they be able to cope with the extremely different personalities and create a new unified world where each of the four princes and their followers lives in harmony and understanding?
The Court of Capricorn is a meld of twelve genres, aspects, and themes. One of my favorite aspects of the book was the author’s writing style of leaving description and details to blossom freely in the reader’s imagination. The mind’s eye easily fills in the backstory of the theatrical play: a story that shifts its shape from religion to technology, from magical to mythology, from spirituality to comedy, from politics to justice, and to astrology.
I could “read” the characters through the dynamic dialogue. Their different perspectives traversed from Cancer, the Countess of the Eastern Realm of Water, and her warm feelings of a protective mother to the stubborn, impatient, fiery personality of Aries, the Warlord of the West. Pisces, the teacher and wise one, offered delightful musings about the human condition.
Dramatic intrigue was another virtue of the book. It’s almost impossible not to relate to at least one of the characters and transport yourself on the stage, performing as if you’re the main actor who has his or her own grand moment. The hilarious, defiant attitude of Gemini, the Joker, then quickly tosses you back into a spectator role as his comedic banter breaks the serious or suspenseful mood.
References to the challenging and shifting current time might put your intellect on trial. Capricorn’s viewpoint about some life truths was thought-provoking. Libra, the Lady of Liberty, seems to speak to a New Age generation and to those seekers who believe in a better world where human behavior is motivated by compassion, peace, and prosperity for all.
If you relate to any of the above themes, read the book. If you love to let your imagination roam freely, read this story. An open-minded book aficionado will also enjoy this read. Fans of satirical plays and humor enthusiasts, happy reading! Playwrights looking for inspiration might enjoy Range’s writing rhythm, layout, stage directions, and even the introduction of the cast prior to the commencement of the play. A handful of words that might be considered profanity are easily overlooked. The book seemed well-edited, and the presentation made the reading experience easy-to-follow while the dialogue flowed naturally. Four out of four stars are earned by Christopher Range’s book, The Court of Capricorn.
The Court of Capricorn
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