Klondaeg the Monster Hunter, by Steve Thomas
* * * * * (5 stars)
Klondaeg's philosophy in life is simple: kill all the monsters. With the help of his trusty talking double-headed axe, King's Rest (the name is literal), he goes about attempting to do just that, in the hopes of eventually taking revenge on the unknown monster who killed his parents. Along the way, he encounters supposedly extinct bird people, a hero resigned to the prophecy of doom upon his head, gnome werewolves, and undead magma goats.
This is a funny, well-written and fast-moving tale that takes on a lot of the major fantasy tropes, including magical weapons, prophecies, gods, heroes, and pretty much every fantasy race there is (and some completely new ones) and turns them upside down. It's silly, but beneath the silliness there's clever wordplay, engaging characters, exciting adventures and fight scenes, and some impressively creative worldbuilding (you have to love a pantheon that includes a Goddess of Whatever Passes For Love These Days).
Highly recommended, and when you finish it, be sure to have the sequel, Klondaeg and the Klondaeg Hunters, on hand so you can dive right in.
Klondaeg and the Klondaeg Hunters, by Steve Thomas
* * * * * (5 stars)
In the course of his quest to kill all the monsters, in hopes of avenging his parents, Klondaeg has made some new friends... and some enemies. Throw in a bossy fairy, men on the moon, an anti-Klondaeg conspiracy, and an unwelcome moral dilemma, and monster-hunting suddenly isn't so simple any more.
And to top it all off, one head of his double-headed talking axe has fallen in love.
Another excellently funny and exciting adventure, the sequel to Klondaeg the Monster Hunter. Well-written, with clever wordplay, original worldbuilding, fantasy tropes turned inside out, and exciting fight and action scenes. I enjoyed this a lot, and look forward to reading more about Klondaeg and other books from Steve Thomas.
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