Sunday, January 18, 2009

Book Review - A BAD SPELL IN YURT by C. Dale Brittain

A Bad Spell In Yurt by C. Dale Brittain
1991, 314 pgs

When I was younger, I read voraciously. I still read a lot, and quite quickly, but when I was a kid, I'd tear through stacks of books at a time. I'd either have a dozen books checked out of the library, or a huge fine from forgetting to take 'em back, and I read almost exclusively fantasy novels. The very rare sci-fi would slip in, and I read a lot of non-fiction about places I wanted to visit, but typically, unless it had a wizard or dragon on the cover, it never touched my pile. More recently, I've branched out a lot, reading a lot of detective novels, some horror, fiction, pretty much anything I can get my hands on is fair game now. All the same, I still have a great deal of fondness for light fantasy novels. One of the first "Grown-up" books I read was the Spell Of The Chameleon, by Piers Anthony, and while I quickly soured on his Xanth novels, I found two light fantasy authors I really liked, Lawrence Watt-Evans (My favorite author to this day) and C Dale. Brittain. Both of them wrote light hearted fantasy romps, usually with a mildly incompetent main character, and a bright view on the world. You always had a pretty good idea that they'd win the day, find their fortune, meet a few misfit friends and get the girl. I still have a soft spot for that. With that in mind, I snagged a couple of my light fantasy novels and added them to my reading pile that is primarily horror and detective novels to revisit.

I'm glad I did. A Bad Spell In Yurt tells the tale of Daimbert, a recent graduate from the wizard's school, and one who barely graduated by the hem of his robe. He managed to stumble into a position of Royal Wizard in the tiny kingdom of Yurt, where he hopes to lay low, make some friends, practice as little magic as needed and eat some mighty fine crullers. As luck would have it, there's some dark stuff going on in the kingdom and the surprisingly resourceful wizard is soon contending with dragons, illusions, love potions, demons, youth spells and telephones! Obviously, this isn't life altering reading, but it's an incredible amount of fun, and I really like the dynamic Brittain creates between the wizard and the chaplain of the kingdom, it's not something you often see in fantasy novels. Yurt is also written to sound an awful lot like a kingdom I'd like to be Royal Wizard for. I could think of worse jobs!


Now Reading - Extreme Odds by Rick Hanson

UPDATE! - A Bad Spell In Yurt is now available free from C. Dale Brittain's home page Here. Check it out!

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