You guys, you guys, you guys!!! My friend Katherine Vick's new book just came out today, and it is indeed EPIC!! The Merry Band (and the first book in the series, The Disposable) is absolutely HILARIOUS and reminiscent of Terry Pratchett books (which I keep meaning to reread) and The Princess Bride - which I did read in college, and the book's just as awesome as the movie!
Find both books here: https://www.thinklingsbooks.com/books.html
The Disposable just got a new, glowing review from an anonymous Kindle user - I wish we knew their name so we could thank them for their incredible words - and I felt like sharing it here . . . not as an example of the kind of review everyone should write, because it makes me feel very incompetent as a reviewer, myself, and this is certainly not within the capabilities (time wise, too) of most people! But I just wanted to share it because it is so, so awesome and something that wonderful begs to be shared everywhere!!
A rip-roaring underdog tale
"Honestly, I think this book is most fun a reader can have with getting their meta on. You like stories about stories where they poke fun at the cliches and tropes used in stories while telling a chuffing good story? You got it. Think the same sort of things done by The Princess Bride, Terry Pratchett and The School for Good and Evil.
"I loved every second of this screwball adventure. From the way pretty much every fairy tale and fantasy trope was stabbed repeatedly with the pointy stick of humour to the way characters both were and weren't what I expected them to be, I couldn't help but be drawn in. The world setting - that of a fantasy land stage managed as stories occur around everyday life - was beautifully done. I adored the comedic touches that could sometimes be a little dark - characters can be "killed" but never die of anything other than old age, so there's not much worrying done should the topic of offing someone come up (don't worry, clean-readers; no gore here). There's great fun to be had in a land where pixies go around remaking the world to match whatever's needed for the Narrative, be it remodelling the Magnificent City or adding in a convenient waterfall. The society built on character roles is the perfect, slightly sarcastic look at storytelling as much as it is about society. Blood and social standing trump all else; upper classes stay on top with the little people told to know their place at the bottom of the ladder. Plus who couldn't love a world where a guy called Grim hangs out in his dark tower waiting to chew the scenery?
"The characters are on point perfect playing their resented cliches even as they deep down longed for something else even if they didn't know it. Fodder's your plain old normal guy with nothing but hopeful ambition to make him stand out. He should be dull as dishwater, but he really grew on me because he felt real and normal. Shoulders fills the role of slightly annoying Eeyore-pessimist, though you know there's a heart of gold in there somewhere. Flirt isn't just put out by being forced into #metoo situations by her role, she's got some serious fire even if she hasn't quite worked out the whole sword swinging thing. Princess Pleasance (who is anything but) is your perfect clueless upper-class foil to our three heroes' efforts, matched only by the wonderful Prince Dullard (again who is anything but). Even side characters like the (technically) evil Grim, or the (technically) monstrous beastly henchmen get a whole lot of love put into showing us who they are.
"The only thing this story lacks (other than a true ending because it's a cliffhanger) is... Chapters. It could have made it a more digestible read if it had been broken up into manageable pieces; as-is, it's pretty much one half, then another, and even for a fast reader like me it felt like too much waiting and hoping for a good point to stop. To be fair I didn't want to stop because I was enjoying it so much, but life, y'know?
"There's so much I wish I could say about this book, the plot, the general fun and fabulousness of it all... But that's spoilers. If you've read this far, you deserve better. You like comedy that's clever rather than laugh out loud? You've read literally All The Fantasy, know the cliches and think you can't have fun with them any more? You like your heart to be warmed even as a character's head goes flying? Read this and weep tears of salty, salty joy that you'd never thought you'd feel for fantasy fiction again."
. . . Yes, I left the typos in, lol, to be authentic. See, no review is perfect. ;)
Anyway, just wanted to share that bit of awesomeness today, and I'm off to tell more people in more places about this amazing new book! (Maybe you can do so too? <3 <3 <3)
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Sarah Awa lives in Ohio with two hairy guys and writes books about werewolves.