Velan the Reticent

Velan the Reticent

4.8 8
by James Grant

Barbarian adventures through ancient lands with lots of blood and guts and monsters and blood and swords and magic and oomph.  See more details below


Barbarian adventures through ancient lands with lots of blood and guts and monsters and blood and swords and magic and oomph.

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CreateSpace Publishing
Publication date:
Product dimensions:
5.25(w) x 8.00(h) x 0.48(d)

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Velan the Reticent 4.9 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 8 reviews.
_Kidd_ More than 1 year ago
I couldn't put the book down till the flip of the last page. That's saying a lot considering THIS reader has a serious case of ADD. Can't wait for the next adventure...
GreyDuck More than 1 year ago
James L Grant set out to create an amusing riff on the Robert E Howard "Conan" mythos. Most such efforts are far too heavy on the anachronistic references and too thin on characterization and story, but Grant has kept storytelling at the forefront in "Velan." This is more of a loving homage blended with tongue-in-cheek humor than it is some kind of cheap parody. The adventure is fun to read, the characters are heroic yet grounded in a believable kind of reality, and the setting is treated with all of the respect it deserves. That is to say, the adventure story tropes are properly held up to the light and then bent in just the right way to make it all... work. Grant knows when to revel in the absurdity and when to turn it on its ear. Most importantly, I reached the final page and wished I could phone the author and demand the next installment, immediately. But he'd probably stomp my toes with his boots if I did. So I'll wait. Impatiently.
yearra_thedragon More than 1 year ago
"You have been warned", reads one of the blerbs. It's a good warning, because Velan the Reticent is addictive. Good thing it's short enough to be called a novella. Its length, or rather the lack thereof, might reduce your chances of getting caught reading it when you're supposed to be working. Only, you will be caught. For one thing, you're going to be noticed when you try (probably unsucessfuly) to choke back an ambush of your own laughter. Repeatedly. Or, when you have to clean the keyboard on which you just snorted a noseful of coffee. If you ever loved "Barbarian" sword & sorcery, whether as a full-on fan or as someone sneaking a guilty pleasure, Velan will satisfy. If you ever thought Howard's Conan series could have been better written, or privately found aspects of his writing a bit will find vindication in Velan the Reticent. This book is a parody, it's satire, it's full of snark. BUT it's also an homage, being a damned good Conan-esque tale in its own right. Yeah, I loved it; can you tell? There's one part in particular, in the middle, where I literally about fell out of my chair. I won't tell you which; you'll know when you come to it. AND I DO KNOW WHAT THE WORD "LITERALLY" ACTUALLY MEANS, SO I DON'T USE IT LIGHTLY! Enough already; go buy this thing.
Gary_W_Olson More than 1 year ago
Barbarian sword-and-sorcery books have never been of great interest to me. It's one of those genres, like military science fiction, high fantasy, and paranormal romance, where I can see where there are elements that other people might be drawn to (and are, in great numbers) without being drawn to those elements myself. So I came to Velan the Reticent, a novella suggesting a send-up of works such as Conan the Barbarian and Red Sonja, I was not entirely sure it would work for me. Parodies I like; parodies of things I've never seen or read, less so. Fortunately, James L. Grant has wrote a book that is both funny and entertaining regardless of how much or little one knows about the genre. He does it the old-fashioned way - by creating real, complete characters who deal with the strange situations they face (scavenging warbirds, scheming townspeople, hidden temples) in realistic (for the genre) ways. The humor flows from the characters and their situations, rather than any forced wordplay, joking, or overt silliness, and is all the more effective for it. While I suspect there are depths I missed due to unfamiliarity with the genre, I nevertheless thorougly enjoyed the book and look forward to Velan's return.
Tiranna More than 1 year ago
A great warrior begrudgingly becomes a mentor. A blossoming warrior finds out that learning is necessarily painful. Velan is a very entertaining and amusing tale of adventure, camaraderie, and booty. I can't wait to see what new lessons will be learned in the sequel(s).
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
headtrip_honey More than 1 year ago
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. 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.