I liked this book, but I’ve been struggling with the review because these sorts of books just don’t lend themselves well to my reviewing system. A 150-page book just doesn’t have the page time to devote to intricate world building or super in-depth character development, there’s just not enough time. The point of this book was a light-hearted comedy that’s more like a novella than a novel, and I’m grading it as such.
Klondaeg is a Dwarf, and a monster hunter. When he was young his parents were killed by monsters – he’s not sure which monster, so in his book, they’re all guilty and deserve killing.
The plot is broken up into smaller stories that come together at the end. The book opens with Klondaeg fighting an undead magma goat in a silver mine. He ends up defeating it but is puzzled about how the magma goat even got there in the first place, and tries to investigate its origins. He’s captured by Gnomes who are involved in the goat fiasco and put in prison, while in prison he meets a shapeshifter and they escape. The shapeshifter and he discuss the possible meaning behind the magma goats being undead and conclude that it has to be sorcery and blasphemy that are bringing the goats back to life – which could cause a lot of Smoting by the Goddess Perpleskga (Goddess of the Gnomes). They have to stop whoever is behind it before the Goddess gets too angry.
He goes on to help out a washed-up hero who’s been prophesized to die within a week which leads him to an Oracle. Mayhem ensues.
He also meets up with (or is kidnapped by, depending on your perspective) a bird-person who desperately needs the help of the legendary Klondaeg the Monster Hunter.
These all come together by the end, I was really hoping they would because the mini adventures are very short and the plots aren’t completely tied up when we move from one situation to the next.
Final Score: 11/15
So our main character is Klondaeg, and he’s a fairly simple man. He’s a kill first ask no questions later kinda guy with no qualms slaughtering every monster he sees. He’s a bit obsessive, actually, thinking of little else besides killing monsters. I found his sentient and dual personality axe to be the highlight of the book for me.
Sinister and Dexter are two personalities that live in a double-headed axe named Kings Rest. They have polar opposite personalities best demonstrated in battle. After killing lots and lots of Gnomes, “Dexter was humming a jaunty battle tune, and Sinister kept apologizing to the corpses”.
The random banter between the two personalities of the axe, along with Klondaeg’s personality made for an entertaining mix.
Final Score: 11/15
Right from the start, you know you’re in for a high level of fantasy creatures and magic since there’s a Dwarf fighting an undead magma goat. The ridiculous nature of the world building goes on from there and doesn’t get any less crazy.
I think my favorite bit is Perplesgka, The Goddess of Things That Make No Sense…. “Perpleskga’s domains included the silent g, the platypus, the sounds houses make at night, old peoples’ stories, the taste of water in the next village over, and, most relevantly, the Gnomes, her chosen people”.
There are gnomelobo’s, who are a werewolf type transformation of a gnome… except it’s only about the size of a fox and wears a pointy hat.
Since gnomelobo’s are starting to be a bit of a problem, any shapeshifting gnome is starting to be put into prison, including on of the characters Klondaeg meets along the way, Clayborn.
When gnomes die they turn into clay, and can be used as a weapon by their brethren to continue on with the battle.
Crocospawn are kind of like mermaids mixed with crocodiles – they have the lower half of a mermaid and the upper half of a crocodile. The way they breed is vicious, their eggs are almost irresistible to the standard mermaid, and when they eat them 1 egg becomes many eggs, then they hatch and eat their way out of the mermaid.
Final Score: 12.5/15
This was very, very fast paced, almost a little too fast for me. I’d be getting into one storyline and it was already moving onto another – which is why I’m glad it tied together at the end because I felt like the book raced along. There’s absolutely no “filler” material in here, there were lots of battles, lots of monsters, and lots of mayhem and you don’t always know who to trust. A lot happened in a very short book, so if you’re looking for something to keep you entertained on every page and don’t want a slow burn book in any way, this one would be that.
Final Score: 12/15
This was a pretty clean edition, I didn’t catch any editing errors. I liked the writing style, it was quick and funny where it needed to be. Sometimes when reading comedies there are a lot of jokes that just don’t work for me because they seem forced or beat you over the head with it.
Although this was somewhat reminiscent of Pratchett (mostly in the naming of things), it’s def its own thing – although I would recommend it to people who like Pratchett, there are similarities.
Final Score: 13/15
This was a very original kind of book, I haven’t read anything quite like that before. The character was original as was his weapon of choice. The animals/monsters in the world like gnomelobo’s and crocospawn were entirely Steve’s creation, so kudos there.
Final Score: 14/15
When I read this I was in just the right mood for it, I had hit a stream of super dark books and I was just not feeling reading another one. This book hit a sweet spot for me.
Final Score: 8.5/10
- Fast Paced
- Non human POV
- Sentient Weapons
- Lots of Monsters
- Lots of violence