My rating: 5 of 5 stars
Alright, here is the quick summary. Angst (yes, that’s really his name) is an overweight paper filer for the kingdom of Unsel. He has control of magic but it’s of limited use in a kingdom that has outlawed its use for 2,000 years. Oh yeah, he’s also 40-something years old and in the midst of a mid-life crisis. Couple that fact with a disposition that compliments his name and you’ve got a great everyman character. A character that resonates with any guy who just knew he was destined for greatness but feels his moment has passed him by.
Angst is also something of a ladies’ man or at least a shameless flirt. And what man doesn’t fancy himself one of those? His wife Heather is the love of his life, but even she throws a dig or two at him about his flirting. His own friends are exasperated when it seems he’s found another woman to charm. But when you’re a larger than life personality like Angst, you are bound to make a fan or two in places you wouldn’t expect. For Angst, that person is the young princess Victoria who our hero meets while ducking out of a particularly boring speech being delivered by the Queen herself. Despite his flirting Angst is a one woman man and is fiercely protective of his friends. At a party in the castle his friend Rose (yes, another woman) is pursued a bit too aggressively by a knight. Angst does something that surprises everyone and sets in motion the adventure contained in the novel titled after its protagonist.
Some of what I really like about Angst was that it didn’t get overly serious or dreary. There was humor. There was quasi-romance. There were reluctant heroes. And you can’t discount the twists that you don’t see coming. Maybe I’ve read the same authors too often and so I can predict their next moves but Angst surprised me time and again. I was so pleasantly surprised by what I was reading that I fought the urge on several times to call a friend of mine who reads fantasy and tell him to go buy Angst! Or hell, I’d buy it for him. Just read it! But he doesn’t have an eReader and I don’t know how I could convince him to read it on his computer.
Angst isn’t a breath of fresh air, it’s a whole gust. Its fantasy unlike anything I’ve read lately. If I absolutely had to compare it to another author’s series I may compare it to Terry Brooks Landover series; although Angst is about a million times more likable then Ben Holiday. I also really liked the fact that the characters spoke in contemporary language. No, “wouldst thou bringeth me an ale?” I’m just outright running out of superlatives to describe this book. I guess the greatest compliment I can pay is that I’ll definitely be buying the authors next book, unless he decides to write a book about dog walking. I’m also giving this book just my second 5 star review of the year. It was that good.