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Posted April 29, 2011
Velan draws you in, and doesn't let you go quietly...
The titular character of "Velan," while the driving force behind the book's main action, takes a back seat to the other two main characters in the book, Tygus, a farmboy turned revenge-seeker, and the Scarlet Retalia, a buxom mercenary who could easily take Red Sonja in hand to hand combat.Was this review helpful? Yes NoThank you for your feedback. Report this reviewThank you, this review has been flagged.
This novella has two extremely well executed facets. First, it is a coming of age story that follows Tygus in his quest to revenge his town, which was massacred by a rampaging horde. Seemingly hopeless at first, Tygus soon shows his reticent mentor, Velan, that he has a lot of hidden potential. Often bemused and confounded by the world outside his now-smoldering village, Tygus provides the reader with a front row seat to some of the most realistic (well, as realistic as fighting ruby-eyed scorpions can be) action scenes you'll read.
Second, this novella is a tongue in cheek homage to famed action heroes such as Conan the Barbarian and the aforementioned Red Sonja. We learn, for example, that having long, flowing hair isn't always the most practical hairstyle for a female mercenary, that honor is NOT the better part of valor, the life of a mercenary (aka "hero") is brutish, short, and likely to end badly, and that scavenging Warbirds can be very, very patient.
This novella is not perfect, however.
For one thing, it is too short. It promises us sequels, however, which will hopefully explore the character of Velan more fully. He remains shrouded in mystique (perhaps by his own design) for most of the novel.
A few passages are confusing, and require re-reading, but all in all, a very clever, very funny book that will leave you wanting more.
If you like books such as the Discworld novels, that simultaneous pay homage to and make fun of the fantasy/action/sci fi genre, this is right up your alley.