Publishing Date: July 2017
Publisher’s Description: As the Frank kingdom prepares for war, Roland, young heir to the Breton March, has been relegated to guard duty until a foreign emissary entrusts him with vital word of a new threat to the kingdom. Now Roland must embark on a risky journey to save all he loves from swift destruction.
Review: This novel is at once compelling, ridiculous, entertaining and maudlin. Let’s look at the ridiculous.
Roland is written as an animation hero straight out of Disney, only more visceral in presentation. He is stalwart, honest/truthful to a fault, abhors evil, and men flock to him for leadership in battle. He only has one true love and puts others before himself…in all things. It’s like Dudley Dooright made a night deposit at the Disney sperm bank, and out popped Roland. Of course where would Roland be without a sidekick? He gets one on the field of battle by defeating a giant sized Norseman who then swears undying loyalty to him. Of course the Dane is loud and boisterous while hefting a mighty battle ax (yawn). So the tropes are many, as are the fat-rendered cliche’s and every instance where events become near impossible and most dire…..there is Roland to save the day.
Meanwhile Snidely Whiplash……er, uh….Giselon is conspiring to kill the King and take the throne. Giselon also has a sidekick named Muttley, er……an evil Priest (is there any other kind?) who flitters about the edges of the story line sneering his way into your heart.
So, what did I think of it all? I fukin’ loved it. I know, kick me in the balls and throw away my reviewer badge, but dang this was good. While Roland dashes to the rescue of those less fortunate or able, AND against superior odds, you cannot but help root for the guy. What’s not to like about blonde locks flying, sword cut cutting and slashing it’s way through the evil that conspires to rid the godly anointed Frank King from this earth?
So throw away your inhibitions and righteous indignation in favor of some literary mastication that may seek a purge on the rolling decks of clarity. Ok, that didn’t make much sense but neither did this novel.