Another Fine Myth, by Robert Asprin

I hunted down a copy of Robert Asprin's Another Fine Myth after reading an absolutely glowing review of it on NPR. When I hear about a book described as a “joyous dad-joke fantasy”, I'm interested. Sadly, I found NPR's description to be a bit hyperbolic; Asprin's novel is more like a mildly amusing novelization of a D&D game.

The plot of Another Fine Myth will be familiar to any fantasy fan, although the author does get creative with the details (and the names). When his master is murdered, Skeeve, a magician's apprentice and former thief, finds himself both A) out of a job and B) stuck with the demon his master had been busily summoning shortly before being killed. Thankfully, the demon—Aahz—turns out to be a nice enough guy, although he has temporarily lost his powers. Lacking any better ideas, Skeeve and Aahz decide to team up until they can get their lives in order.

To do Another Fine Myth justice, it slides right down. I read this in a single sitting, and my tea barely got cold. (It's only 200 pages long.) I liked most of the characters, and I snickered at several of the fake quotes that opened each chapter. ("The only thing more reliable than magik is one's friends!" -Macbeth) There were a few wince-inducing moments that are typical of the genre and publication era, but apart from a single, jarring line uttered by the villain, nothing that approaches, say, Piers Anthony levels of grossness. I wouldn't go to any extraordinary lengths to acquire the rest of this series, but I wouldn't turn them down if they turned up in front of me—and I bet I would have enjoyed it even more if I hadn't had all those unrealistic NPR-based expectations.
Posted by: Julianka


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