This week, I’m reading a book called Beginning of a Hero, by Charles E. Yallowitz, in which a half-elf “forest tracker” and his, apparently, German Shepherd dog battle the forces of evil.
It’s not uncommon for a fantasy novel to seem like it’s based on someone’s D&D adventure, but in this case, it’s incredibly apparent that D&D is the source material. The hero refers to himself as an “adventurer”, there are halflings, half-orcs, kobolds, and (obviously) half-elves, and the primary antagonist is that classic AD&D baddie, the Lich. (Only a Beholder or maybe a Mind Flayer would be more iconic.)
Aedyn is still confused on how he let the halfling talk him into allowing the sheep into his room. Still, out of the three guests, he would trust the sheep before he trusted Fritz and Nimby.
In case you’re wondering, Nimby is the halfling. I don’t know what it is that Nimby doesn’t want in his backyard. Being a halfling, Nimby is, of course, a thief. Fritz, on the other hand, is a gnome illusionist (because, you know, in D&D, gnomes are allowed to be illusionists). Anyway, all this D&D inside baseball might seem to be a problem — someone else’s D&D adventure isn’t always the most interesting reading in the world — and at first I wasn’t sure if the author thought he was writing a genuine fantasy epic, or if it was an affectionate parody. But at this point I’ve decided that it’s both, in the manner in which “Kung Fu Panda” is both a spoof of a kung fu movie and an actual kung fu movie. And like “Kung Fu Panda”, it’s a lot of fun so far. I particularly enjoyed an early scene involving an arrogant and overconfident paladin, as if there were any other kind.
And speaking of stories based on games, here is this week’s teaser from The War of the Ravels!
“I am surprised any of you made the journey successfully. The Æther plays havoc with sorcery worked in its vicinity, especially if it involves the distortion of space. The more powerful the glamour, the greater the interference, and gates are very powerful space-distortion glamours.”
“Really,” Mercy said, shooting a glance at Cynidece. “That would have been good to know ahead of time.”
Or, as Robbie from “The Wedding Singer” put it: