“Winter Masquerade” by Kevin Klehr— Through the Looking Glass

Klehr, Kevin. “Winter Masquerade”,  NineStar Press, 2020.

Through the Looking Glass

Amos Lassen

Kevin Klehr’s hero, Ferris awakens to find himself aboard the “Sea Queen”, not understanding how he got here. He does know that he really wants to be home with his boyfriend. He does not want to be on “an enchanted cruise ship sailing on a chocolate sea.” It seems that there is only one person who can help Ferris and that is the alchemist but he’s been kidnapped. Then there is a very strange ransom— high tea with scones and jam.
On board, all of the the passengers are getting ready for the Winter Masquerade, a ball known for love and magic. We can only wonder what is really going on.

This is the story of two universes—-Ferris’ voyage and time in a fantasy world and his life at home. When Ferris first begins his sea journey, he is on a very strange and absurd adventure but as we move forward we realize that he gains strength as a result. I also realized that the story is not as absurd as it first appears. We all have strange occurrences in our lives and often by escaping reality, we learn something about ourselves.

Ferris sees that he never lost those who care the most for him but it took  a world of fantasy and strange characters for him to understand this. The characters at work at making him understand this and eventually he is able to return to the real world more confident and stronger than he was when he left it.  What I first thought was going to be a “fluff” read became something much more serious when I realized the message that Klehr was sending us. The writing is clear and fun with great puns and characters’ names and seeing the world from a different point of view kept me reading. I also enjoyed the metaphor of the “Sea Queen”, a world that is always there for those moments when we need to escape the way we live every day.