Dicing with the Gods: Grug Smash Book 1 (Grug Smash Novels) - Sean McKenzie

This is a short book, so I have to keep things brief and vague.

 

Gurg is your typical barbarian adventurer -- more brawn than brains (a lot more), good in a fight, not so good in a conversation. Think of him as Tarzan with a sword, sort of.

 

In the middle of a typical adventure, Gurg is separated from his party and finds a magical amulet. While wearing it, he finds himself with a growing awareness that his life is governed by forces he doesn't understand (and much of his life doesn't really happen). He's also just a whole lot smarter -- he's developing empathy, thinking about things other than adventuring and drinking.

 

What kind of impact will this have on his life? What will this do to his adventuring? When he stumbles upon an evil plot -- how will he react now that he can do more than unthinkingly slash and bash his way through enemies?

 

This was fun -- the only downside for me was the length. Thankfully, there's a second volume in the series already out. I expected something goofier, more farcical -- maybe even slapsticky. I was wrong, it is clever and amusing. But it's also a good fantasy story. McKensie writes with skill and panache, and his characters could be in a straight-fantasy with no problem. Instead, he comes at it from a skewed perspective and takes the standard D&D party and turns it into something special. I'll be back for more.

 

Disclaimer: I was given a copy of this book by the author in exchange for this post.

Source: http://irresponsiblereader.com/2016/08/02/dicing-with-the-gods-by-sean-mckenzie