by Caitlin Rozakis

Narrated by Keval Shah

Unabridged — 11 hours, 28 minutes



by Caitlin Rozakis

Narrated by Keval Shah

Unabridged — 11 hours, 28 minutes

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Notes From Your Bookseller

Cozy fantasy fans, gather your blankets, candles and tea: we have the perfect next read for you. This is a delightful new world from an author you'll want to keep on your #TBR.

A sharp-witted, debut high fantasy farce featuring killer moat squid, toxic masculinity, evil wizards, and a garlic festival-all at once.

It's bad enough waking up in a half-destroyed evil wizard's workshop with no eyebrows, no memories, and no idea how long you have before the Dread Lord Whomever shows up to murder you horribly and then turn your skull into a goblet or something.

It's a lot worse when you realize that Dread Lord Whomever is . . . you.

Gav isn't really sure how he ended up with a castle full of goblins, or why he has a princess locked in a cell. All he can do is play along with his own evil plan in hopes of getting his memories back before he gets himself killed.

But as he realizes that nothing-from the incredibly tasteless cloak adorned with flames to the aforementioned princess-is quite what it seems, Gav must face up to all the things the Dread Lord Gavrax has done. And he'll have to answer the hardest question of all-who does he want to be?

A high fantasy farce featuring killer moat squid, toxic masculinity, an evil wizard convocation, and a garlic festival. All at once. All in all, Dread Lord Gavrax has had better weeks.

Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly


Rozakis’s amusing debut opens on a bewildered amnesiac waking up “with no eyebrows and no idea how he’d gotten into such a position.” Through interactions with his terrified but endearing goblin minions, he pieces together his identity as the Dread Lord Gavarax, a dark wizard who has apparently kidnapped a princess and is entangled in a rather complicated scheme led by the ghastly and unpleasant Lord Zarcornar. Tales of the evil deeds he can’t remember committing turn Gavarax’s stomach, but he’s forced to continue playing the villain while investigating how he’s lost his memories. Floundering through his daily routines while trying to reconcile his past and present selves proves challenging—especially with his clever and wary hostage, Princess Eliasha, observing his every move. Adding a surprising dose of heart to her quick-witted tale, Rozakis demonstrates her excellent comedic timing and keen ability to keep readers guessing. This clever, high-energy fantasy is a delight. (May)

From the Publisher

"Don’t let its title fool you. Caitlin Rozakis’ novel, Dreadful, is an absolute delight, perfect for fans of TJ Klune and Travis Baldree.”

"This feel-good fantasy is charming and so entertaining."

"Excellent comedic timing and [a] keen ability to keep readers guessing. This clever, high-energy fantasy is a delight."
Publishers Weekly

"An absolutely magnificent comedic fantasy with a hint of bite. This book was a witty, empathetic, and genuinely funny meditation on the nature of good and evil. It was easily one of the best books I've read this year."
Olivia Atwater

"Dreadful is pure fun. Caitlin Rozakis delivers a (loving) send up of classic fantasy tropes alongside a compelling redemption story and plenty of quirky humour. The Dread Lord Gavrax (or Gav, as his memoryless alter ego prefers) is a fantastic character, alternately chilling and sympathetic, and readers will also love the cast of seemingly stock fantasy characters with endearing hidden depths. Highly recommended."
Heather Fawcett, bestselling author of Emily Wilde's Encyclopaedia of Faeries

“It was very kind of Caitlin Rozakis to write this book for me. Sure, the rest of you should like it too, but it was clearly written for me, with all the elements I love: fun and humor, breaking fantasy tropes, interesting and complex questions about identity and redemption, and some delightful goblins!”  -Jim C. Hines, author of Goblin Quest

"A spellbinding (literally) massacre of all our favourite tropes, underscored with a pleasing dry wit."
Tom Holt

"Caitlin Rozakis cleverly takes the tropes of a fantasy story and upends them in  creative and entertaining ways, freshening the genre."
Robert Greenberger, Editor, Thrilling Adventure Yarns

"With a unique and razor-sharp voice, Rozakis cleverly flips the script on your typical swords-and-sorcery fantasy in Dreadful, with a bumbling dark wizard, a grumpy kidnapped princess, and a crew of smarter-than-they-seem sycophants and goblins who actually run the place. Magic and adventure meet absurdity in a tale that turns tropes on their heads while delivering unexpected twists, clever banter, and irreverent humor. Readers will tear through this quick-witted and fast-paced novel and search eagerly for Rozakis's next creation."
Mary Fan

"Outrageously funny and self aware, Dreadful is perfect for fans of The Princess Bride. Rozakis blends wit and whimsy with a deft hand in this charming debut that had me laughing with every page-turn. A vital addition to the cozy fantasy genre"
Rosiee Thor, author of Tarnished are the Stars

"Caitlin Rozakis's debut novel, Dreadful, is an absolute delight. Her characters, from the conflicted Gav to the supporting cast, are fully realized and believable beings within their fantastical world. The plot is fast-paced and by turns funny, horrifying, and utterly relatable. I didn't want it to end, even as I kept reading "just one more page" because I couldn't wait to find out what happened next."
Hildy Silverman

“Rozakis has conjured a spellbinding debut that is just what it seems to be: clever, whimsical, and a little spicy.” — E.C. Myers, Nebula Award–winning author

"Dreadful is magnificent! Fun, funny, and brilliantly insightful, this book is such a joy! I absolutely loved every second of it!" - Sarah Beth Durst, award-winning author of The Bone Maker

“It’s rare to find a book where you don’t know who to root for . . . because you like so many characters, even some of the “evil” ones! Dreadful is funny and sweet and scary by turns, and a ton of fun all the way through. But my money’s still on the squid.”
Aaron Rosenberg, author of Yeti Left Home and many others

"With its charming cast and unique mixture of slapstick and sincerity, Dreadful is a heart-warmingly earnest story about how to grow into a better person." - BookPage Starred Review

"Not unlike a Pratchett-esque slice of absurdist screwball comedy fantasy, Dreadful is chock-full of likeable characters, intriguing plot developments, and a compassionate heart."
Set the Tape

Library Journal


DEBUT After a spell gone wrong, the evil wizard Gavrax (he prefers Gav now) wakes up with no memories of who he is or what he's been doing. Gavrax was in the middle of a complicated scheme involving three other wizards, a deadly ritual, and a kidnapped princess. Now Gav will have to do his best to play along, but he's finding he doesn't have the same appetite for evil as his former self—and it turns out he's not the only one who's playing a part. This humorous fantasy plays with stock tropes including evil wizards, captive princesses, and villainous henchmen to upend genre expectations at every turn. Readers will root for Gav as, horrified by his past deeds, he searches for an escape from his sinister lifestyle. Beyond gags about killer moat squid and what makes an appropriately evil outfit, Rozakis delivers commentary on entitlement and asks whether it's ever too late for someone to improve. VERDICT Silly but earnest, this cozy fantasy will appeal to fans of TJ Klune and Travis Baldree.—Erin Niederberger

Product Details

BN ID: 2940191719542
Publisher: Tantor Audio
Publication date: 05/28/2024
Edition description: Unabridged
Sales rank: 200,069
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