Thursday, 14 July 2011

Tales From Gundarland - Hank Quense

Synopsis - Gundarland is populated by humans, dwarfs, elves and other races; it's the backdrop for unique adventures, brilliant heroes and cunning villains. 

Here is a list of the stories and a brief synopsis of each:
 Romeo and Juliet: Romeo, a dwarf miner, and Juliet, the elfin daughter of a rich gem merchant, have a rocky courtship because Juliet's brothers are avowed enemies of Romeo's family.
 Chasing Dreams: This novella tells the story of twin yuk brothers on their journey from strong-armed thugs to highway robbers to bawdy house owners to politicians. The brothers are plagued and harassed by vigilantes. 
Boggerts Blue: A warrior-cook seeks to rescue a kidnapped princess.  She refuses to be rescued by someone who isn't noble-born.
The Big Bang: A wizard has to eliminate a dragon and his minions.  Along the way to complete his mission, he is tested by a shape-changer and a pair of trolls.
The Queen's Hero: This novella is about a young tinker-warrior as he struggles to save his Queen from a pirate admiral trying to overthrow her and become king. The Queen's three beautiful daughters have their own plans for the young hero.
Merchant of Venison: A dwarf butcher borrows money to help his best friend and soon regrets it.  The dwelf money lender has bloody ideas about the default payments.
Inter-Racial Musical Playoffs: A few greedy wizards attempt to fix a musical competition.  Other wizards try to protect the band leader who is favored to win the competition.
Tactical Surprise: A general develops unusual tactics to defeat a rebel army.  The enemy leader is a close family friend making the general's decisions more difficult. (Taken from Goodreads)

Review - I won this e-book from LibraryThing Members Giveaways.  Tales From Gundarland is pure fantasy.  Well known fairytales taken and spun with an added twist.  On reading the prologue I thought this sounds good fun and I expected to be plunged into a similar world to Terry Pratchett's Discworld series.  These short stories are more comparable to Shrek but for an older audience.  Romeo and Juliet was my favourite and had me laughing my head off.  I also liked Boggarts Blue about Burga the warrior cook saving the Princess locked in the tower.  This story does draw comparisons to Shrek, the Princess is not pleased with her rescuer who is not of noble blood.  Remind you of a certain ginger Princess?  King Lazlo is similar to Farquaad in the Shrek movies.

Witty and quite funny, these short stories made a change from my usual reading.  3*

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