Robert Kroese Enchants with "Disenchanted"
I was first introduced to Robert Kroese through his book Mercury Falls, a tale about an anti-establishment angel and a magazine reporter must negotiate the bureaucracies of heaven and hell to prevent the arrival of Armageddon. I recently picked up another of his books called Disenchanted, the first in his Land of Dis series.
Disenchanted revolves around King Boric the Implacable who is killed at the hands of an assassin and looks forward to spending the afterlife in a never-ending party in the Halls of Avandoor. After all, only the greatest warriors get to go to Avandoor, and after a life of heroic deeds, Boric is expecting a a really good seat at the party. There's one problem, his spirit is bound to an enchanted sword, leaving him cursed to wander the earth for eternity as an undead wraith. His only hope is to find the man who gave him the sword so long ago.
Let me start by saying that Disenchanted isn't your average run-of-the-mill fantasy novel. Yes, it has swords and magic and villages and dragons and all the fantastic creatures you'd expect in a fantasy novel. What Kroese has written, however, is a hilarious send up of the fantasy genre in the similar vein of the late great Terry Pratchett and his Discworld series.
With Disenchanted, Kroese has created a funny, light-hearted fantasy novel. The book tells two stories in parallel. The first focusing on the dead Boric's effort to free himself from the cursed sword, while the second describes his earlier life, delving into the his great deeds of "badassery". Even though the book frequently jumps between the two stories, both are compelling and paced just right to keep things moving forward.
If I had one grip about Disenchanted, it is the fact that the first half of the book was absolutely hilarious, while the humor in the second half seemed to tone down quite a bit. Most of the humor in the book comes from Boric, who may be one of the funnier male protagonists that I've read in quite some time. But, as his quest culminates, the humor seems to dip. Not a big criticism, but one that was worth noting.
Overall, Disenchanted was enjoyable and worth the read.