I received this book for free from NetGalley in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.
Series: The Tales of Pell #1
Also by this author: A Plague of Giants
Published by Random House Publishing Group on July 17th 2018
Genres: Action & Adventure, Fairy Tales, Folk Tales, Legends & Mythology, Fantasy, Fiction, Humorous
In an irreverent new series in the tradition of Terry Pratchett and Monty Python, the New York Times bestselling authors of the Iron Druid Chronicles and Star Wars: Phasma reinvent fantasy, fairy tales, and floridly written feast scenes. Once upon a time, in a faraway kingdom, a hero, the Chosen One, was born . . . and so begins every fairy tale ever told. This is not that fairy tale. There is a Chosen One, but he is unlike any One who has ever been Chosened. And there is a faraway kingdom, but you have never been to a magical world quite like the land of Pell. There, a plucky farm boy will find more than he’s bargained for on his quest to awaken the sleeping princess in her cursed tower. First there’s the Dark Lord, who wishes for the boy’s untimely death . . . and also very fine cheese. Then there’s a bard without a song in her heart but with a very adorable and fuzzy tail, an assassin who fears not the night but is terrified of chickens, and a mighty fighter more frightened of her sword than of her chain-mail bikini. This journey will lead to sinister umlauts, a trash-talking goat, the Dread Necromancer Steve, and a strange and wondrous journey to the most peculiar “happily ever after” that ever once-upon-a-timed.
If you’ve read a lot of epic fantasy, you know a lot of tropes. Well, this book is what you’ve been reading for. You’ll take great pleasure in checking each trope off your list as it’s twisted over and turned on its head (and then kicked in its upturned pants for good measure). You’ll snort up your sleeve. You’ll roll your eyes (a lot). And you’ll occasionally laugh out loud.
- Plucky farm boy ready for his destiny? Check.
- Talking goat sidekick who just wants to be sarcastic and eat boots? Check.
- Sleeping princess in a thorn covered castle? Check.
- Dark Lord who wants the farm boy dead and whose most evil spell is making stale bread rain from the sky? Uh. Check.
- Rogue assassin who can’t sneak to save her life? Check. (Also see: terrified of chickens).
- Sonja-esque barbarian warrior in a chain mail bikini (and very unhappy about it)? Check. (Cross-reference: blood-thirsty semi-sentient sword).
- Seductive enchantress whose biggest secret is that she’s gotten old beneath all her spells? Check.
- Reluctant bard from the castle who also happened to have gotten turned into a bunny? Also check.
- And let’s not forget: Dread Necromancer Steve.
- Does this book on a rare occasion get too clever for its own good? Yep.
The laughter and the fun that the authors clearly had writing this book shine through in every pun and joke and reference. If you don’t take it, or yourself, too seriously you’ll have a lot of fun too.
There was at least one moment when I groaned and slapped my own forehead at a terrible joke and had the urge to fling the book across the room — the downside of reading an eBook is that you can’t do that when you need to — but for the most part I’m glad I read it. I can just imagine Delilah and Kevin snickering to themselves as they send off their latest terrible puns to the other. That somehow made the book even better for me. Their joy is in every line. The world could use a little of that right now.
Book is due out July 17th and you can preorder it right here. (affiliate link)