A fantasy novel for those who don't usually like fantasy...
Jan 5, 2013
Generally speaking, fantasy stories don't do a lot for me. But Sabrina Zbasnik has a way with words and characters, and I loved her first book Tin Hero. Her second book, TerraFae, is just as entertaining, and I enjoyed it immensely.
The story revolves around Cas, a killer for hire when it comes to removing troublesome monsters and ghouls. She's sitting in an inn one day with her partner Humphrey, minding her own business. That comes to an end when an elf shows up looking for a hero. Gwydion figures that would be Cas, and next thing she knows, she wakes up on a ship headed back to his homeland, TerraFae. She learns that her quest is to enter the Forbidden Forest to retrieve the vial of Byw (whatever that is). Cas, Gwydion, and two other unwelcome adventurers set out to face the unknown and hopefully live to tell about it.
So why did this work for me? It was the characters and dialogue. Cas is a sharp-tongued, take-no-prisoners type of person, and her no-nonsense approach to her tasks was perfect for the role. She's stuck with Max, a fellow killer, on this quest, and she makes no bones about not liking him. But the back-and-forth between the two is humorous. Gwydion works well as an elf who doesn't have very much confidence in his own powers, but is responsible for the success of this mission. The dangers and characters they meet along the way keep the plot moving at a quick pace, and I was happy to keep flipping the pages to see what they'd encounter next.
If you like your fantasy mixed with plenty of snark, TerraFae is worth reading.
Disclosure: Obtained From: Author Payment: Free
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About the reviewer
Thomas Duff (duffbert)
Thomas Duff, aka "Duffbert", is a long-time member of the Lotus community. He's primarily focused on the development side of the Notes/Domino environment, currently working for a large insurance … more
Sabrina always secretly hoped to be rich and famous and pursued a job in the scientific field. About three years in she realized just how foolish of an idea that was. There's a reason you don't see Lab Grunts in the pages of People, unless they're doing an expose on people who look like Bigfoot. After trying her hands at unicycle painting she turned her attention to writing and created this book and one other knocking about somewhere. She currently lives with her husband and beloved dog, who may or may not dress up like Sherlock Holmes and solve mysteries in their spare time. As you'll note, the exits are located here and here, and if you're getting a hankering for some popped grains drizzled with motor oil our concession stand is still open.