Reading Level: Adult
Genre: Urban Fantasy/Fairy Tales Retold
Size: 260 pages
Publisher: Curiosity Quills Press
Release Date: December 9, 2013
Stand Alone or Series: Stand Alone
Source: eGalley from NetGalley.com
Rating: 3.5/5 stars
I got a copy of this book to review through NetGalley. I am doing a fairy tales retold reading challenge this year, and this book fits that perfectly. This was a funny novel…it’s a bit snarky and reminds of Terry Pratchett’s or Robert Asprin’s style of writing.
Robert Darkly has always had strange things happen to him throughout his life. But a Dwarf showing up in his bathtub is among the strangest. When Robert is drawn into events beyond his knowledge because of his unknown father, things get pretty crazy for him. Ends up there is a whole parallel world called Thiside that Robert didn’t even know existed, and it is filled with all sorts of somewhat recognizable characters pulled from many fairy tales.
This is a funny and decently written twisted fairy tale retelling. It incorporates a number of different tales into this story: Rumpelstiltskin, Red Riding Hood, and Alice in Wonderland to name a few of them.
It’s a little over the top at times and the dialogue constantly veers away into little asides (for example what two birds that are mating are thinking or what the spell that is being cast thinks about everything). In this way the style is somewhat similar to Terry Pratchett’s writing style. I did think that some of the asides distracted from the story and didn’t add all that much to the story.
Robert is your fairly standard run of the mill forgettable guy, except wierd things happen to him. Through the course of his adventures he discovers he can do outstanding things, and one of his greatest powers is his ability to accept the strangeness around him.
Lily is the other main character and she is from the Agency. The Agency is a group that works on keeping Thiside safe from Othaside. Lily gets involved in tracking down Rumpelstiltskin when he escapes and Robert gets pulled along because he is involved in some unknown way. Lily is capable, pretty, and has a pretty big secret…let’s just say The Red Riding Hood fairy tale actually played out a bit differently in this world…
There are many quirky characters throughout and they are entertaining (if a bit over the top at times).
The story is well put together and I enjoyed it overall. Things are wrapped up a bit quickly and the ending felt a bit forced. The book does not really end at a great spot and the way it’s left leaves the reader uncertain as to whether or not there will be more books about Robert Darkly and his adventures in Thiside.
Overall an entertaining read if you enjoy fairy tale retellings done in a humorous, over-the-top, madcap type of writing style. As I said both the characters and the plot are a bit slap-stick and over the top…not my favorite…but if you enjoy that kind of thing I think you will like this novel. It is a funny and amusing read.