You don't need to own a Kindle device to enjoy Kindle books. Download one of our FREE Kindle apps to start reading Kindle books on all your devices.

  • Apple
  • Android
  • Windows Phone
  • Android

To get the free app, enter your mobile phone number.

Kindle Price: $9.62
includes tax, if applicable

These promotions will be applied to this item:

Some promotions may be combined; others are not eligible to be combined with other offers. For details, please see the Terms & Conditions associated with these promotions.

Deliver to your Kindle or other device

Deliver to your Kindle or other device

Fool School by [Comins, James]
Kindle App Ad

Fool School Kindle Edition

See all formats and editions Hide other formats and editions
Amazon Price
New from Used from
Kindle Edition, 22 May 2015
"Please retry"

Kindle Paperwhite
Kindle Paperwhite
The best device for reading, full stop. Learn more

Product Description

Product Description

In the year of our Lord 1040, fourteen-year-old aspiring jester Tom is en route to Bath to begin his studies in the art of being a Fool, following in the footsteps of his father, and his father before him.

Along the way he meets Malcolm, a fire-haired boy with eyes green as forest glass. A Scotsman who's escaped from the ravages of the usurper Macbeth, Malcolm elects to join Tom at school. Though the journey to Bath is hazardous, it pales in comparison to what they face at the austere and vicious Fool School, where all is not as it seems. A court jester must aim to be the lowest rung on the ladder of life, and the headmaster will not abide pride.

As they journey through life's hardships together, Tom and Malcolm find they only have each other to depend upon.

Product details

  • Format: Kindle Edition
  • File Size: 1930 KB
  • Print Length: 253 pages
  • Publisher: Wayward Ink Publishing (22 May 2015)
  • Sold by: Amazon Australia Services, Inc.
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B00XE3Z9VA
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
  • X-Ray:
  • Word Wise: Enabled
  • Enhanced Typesetting: Not Enabled
click to open popover

Customer Reviews

There are no customer reviews yet on
5 star
4 star
3 star
2 star
1 star

Most Helpful Customer Reviews on (beta) 4.0 out of 5 stars 2 reviews
2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars I think this is probably the most exhilarating book I’ve read this year. 12 June 2015
By Sinfully - Published on
I’m not too sure where to begin with reviewing this story so I’ll start with the basics and sort of feel my way into it.

It’s Young Adult – Tom the narrator is 14 but small for his age and has a combination of innocence and worldliness that rings very true for a period when any child, no matter how small, might well be taken to see a beheading for entertainment and long before things like ages of consent had been dreamed up. In fact there is a scene early in the book where Tom, abandoned at the port by his drunk of a father, resigns himself to having to put out in order to get a comfortable night’s lodging. Instead he is lucky enough to meet Malcolm, dispossessed Scottish prince, who offers him passage by ship to England and so their adventures together begin.

“Men hurry, doing rope things and sail things and wood things. I don’t even know what any of this machinery is called. Boat Stuff.”

It’s historical – Malcolm is a genuine historical character. Eldest son of Duncan, the king of Scotland so famously slain by Macbeth, Malcolm was taken to safety until of an age to attempt to regain the throne. The book is full of sly historical jokes, jolting deliberate anachronisms, little half remembered tales and stories that refer to other stories – very much the stock in trade of the jester who needed to be twice as intelligent as his audience but be very careful not to show it. Scenes in towns and churches are neatly described without too much information but paint vivid images. The School in particular, part Hogwarts, part Dotheboys Hall, has some marvellous set pieces.

“It’s impossible to maintain passionate emotions while tumping a tiny drum. Try it if you don’t believe me.”

The book is funny. There are moments of broad slapstick humour, sharply observed satire, puns and wordplay, and funny situations turned on their heads. It’s also horrific in its depiction of a simpler age where anything unusual was blamed on gods and devils, punishments could be immediate and vile, and medical treatment could be even worse.

“I feel the presence of Death on this road. The constant dancer, the whirl of voices silenced, the trailing edges of that black cloak, the bone silver of his scythe.”

One of the greatest joys of the book is the narrative voice of Tom the trainee fool. Son and grandson of professional fools, he has no thought of following any other profession and has been assisting his father, a spendthrift drunk, since he was old enough to carry a tune. Tom is not what one might describe as a good boy, definitely not hero material. He is gullible, cowardly, vain and prone to glorious flights of fancy, especially when under stress. His imaginings intrude into the narrative in such a way that I often accepted that they were happening until they got too bizarre or Tom had a better idea and redacted them or something happened to interrupt his train of thought. He also has a philosophical turn of mind that made for some very poignant moments.

“I mourn this absence of open childish eyes. Then I remember my own childhood, sitting in wagons, listening to my father with prostitutes, and it occurs to me I never had a childhood of magical dreams.”

His relationship with Malcolm is the romantic element. They cling to each other for comfort and support in the face of peril – older bullying students, weird professors, bizarre characters met outside the school – but it is not really an equal relationship. Tom ‘belongs’ to Malcolm, giving him the deference owed to a king in exile. But love is there too, displayed in very subtle gestures and acts rather than in broad terms or explicit sex scenes.

“I feel like much of human nature springs from a desire to stop being human for a moment or two. We desire to be raw low animals, or bright glowing angels, but nothing in-between. What bliss to be mindless, choiceless. No wonder we give ourselves kings.”

I think this is probably the most exhilarating book I’ve read this year. That said it did tail off towards the end and I was left feeling that more needed to be said. It’s like that uncomfortable moment when you’ve drawn breath to sneeze and then don’t. I’m hoping – REALLY hoping – that there’s going to be a sequel to continue the story, and if there is a sequel I’ll be elbowing my way to the front of the queue.
4.0 out of 5 stars A good YA read 29 June 2015
By Azarian - Published on
Fool School. The title suggests a tale of laughter and fun; however, the tale inside the cover visits the darker side of life as seen through a fourteen year old man-child's eyes. The story starts with Tom Motley leaving France to attend the Fool School in Bath, England. It is a family tradition followed by his father and his grandfather before him.

Although I am not usually a fan of first person, Tom's story intrigued me from the beginning. He invites the reader into his life and paints pictures so vivid you find yourself standing beside him watching as the waves whitecap, or smelling the pitiful illness of the pony. The author has a flare for the descriptive phrases and skillfully brings to the page the lifestyles in historical England. I felt I was there at the fair waiting expectantly for the fools to perform.

Throughout the tale, Tom struggles with his Catholic faith. No being of Catholic origins, the insight into the faith and the struggle Tom experiences in dealing with his perceived sin captivated me. The lessons are there without being preachy or tedious.

If any of the events in Tom's journey were meant to be symbolic, I'm afraid that like Tom and Malcolm, I failed to see it; however, I did sense an underlying thread. It was not the actions and situations in Tom's journey that molded him; instead, it was his reactions to what was happening around him that affected how he felt about himself and his faith. I enjoyed his lapses into the imagined outcomes and then the turnaround to the reality of what happened. Most of us do this when faced with situations that make us uncomfortable and the author portrayed the dilemmas in such a way a reader is able to connect with Tom and his struggles.

Overall , I enjoyed the story. It's not romance or action/adventure. Its the story of a young boy finding his way into maturity. The only complaint, it ended too abruptly. There was no closure for me. It seemed the author decided he was done writing and just stopped. I hope that there will be a second book as I am curious what happens to Tom and Malcolm and their gypsy cages. Is Robert of York as sinister as they are lead to believe? Does Tom finish Fool School? I find myself rooting for poor Tom and would like to know how his story turns out.