4 out of 4 stars
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A parody of Tolkien’s classic “Lord of the Rings” is the basis of J.R.R.R. (Jim) Hardison’s novel Fish Wielder. However, I did see references to many other books that I have read, so it not just Tolkien’s work that is being lampooned. The story flows well and keeps the reader laughing all the way through. It is written in the third person, following the life of Thoral, Mighty Fist. As a fantasy work, the story contains many words that are made up just for the story. Ignoring those, I only found one grammar mistake in the whole book.
Thoral is a mighty adventurer, his sidekick Brad is a talking fish that does not know how to swim. They go looking for an adventure, with Thoral riding his mighty tiger stripped steed, called Warlordhorse, and Brad riding in a pouch tied on Thoral’s belt.
Wardlordhorse is last of his breed; he has the ability to sense danger. When he picks up the scent of danger, he leads Thoral and Brad to an immense black tower. This is the lair of the evil Nercogrond. Necrogrond almost kills Thoral, but in the end Thoral is victorious. Brad finds, and Thoral rescues the Elf princess, Nalweegie, returning her to her father. Rescuing Nalweegie turns out to be very fortuitous for our heroes; as it provides them with a mighty quest to save other elves that are going missing.
The elves are being taken by the Bad Religion in prelude to returning the Evil Mauron to power. They need to clear the elves out of the way and recover the Pudding of Power. A chocolaty confection which can imbue one that consumes it with the strength to withstand the life draining side effects of Mauron’s evil bracelet. A bracelet so powerful, it can grant its wearer with the ability to rule the world. Can Thoral save the elves and prevent the pudding from being eaten? On the other hand, will the nine and a half black riders prevent him?
I love this story; there are so many things I like about it, it’s hard to say what appealed to me the most. Though finding out that Brad became Thoral’s companion because Thoral had saved him from drowning is well up there. Along with Thoral’s unique way of fighting, it’s hilarious that he almost dies in every fight, but saves the day at the last second in the most unlikely ways.
The author has developed many distinct characters in this book. However, most of them don’t have much of a back-story, except those that need one to propel the story forward. I found them very relatable and easy to identify. The author has great descriptive ability about how each of the characters, and locations look, so it’s real easy to see what everything looks like in your mind’s eye while you read.
Though the plot seems straightforward, there are enough twists to keeps the reader guessing right to the end. With an unexpected ending popping up, and slapping you in the face with a wet, none talking, fish. While this ending completes the book nicely, it does leave the way wide open for the sequel. Which, I have to say, I can’t wait to read.
This book is an excellent novel and had me stitches all the way through, so I have absolutely no qualms about giving it the highest honor I can. I rate this book as 4 out of 4 stars. The novel will appeal to anyone who loves fantasy stories. I also think that anybody who loves comedies would enjoy this book, though the fantasy aspect might put some of the off, I do recommend that they give it a go. While I don’t believe there is anything in this book that would give offense, it is possible that “Lord of the Rings” fans might not appreciate their book being lampooned.
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