GENRE: Humorous Fantasy
Kept hidden by the United States government for decades, the Site is a place where magic is real. But that doesn't mean that everything happening there is sparkly. Soul-sucking policies and layers of stifling bureaucracy threaten to take all the fun out of magic.
Harris, a newbie Conjurer, starts his first day of work at the Site bursting with excitement: he's been brought on for an extremely big project happening the very next day. In a triumph over its habitual inefficiency, the Site manages to carry out its plan and conjure an actual dragon to be used by the military.
The dragon (Zoth-Avarex, the self-proclaimed greatest dragon in the multiverse) immediately eats the person next to him, snatches a "princess" from the ranks of the Conjuring Department, and flies away to the Space Needle. There he manipulates the media, outwits the Site's bumbling management, demands sixty-three billion dollars' worth of treasure (because Smaug was said to have had sixty-two billion in his hoard), threatens to destroy the city—and installs a couple of food trucks.
After being led to the building, Harris took out his new rune-drawing wand, focused his will, and drew summoning, protective, and binding runes in the air, being extremely careful to get every detail right with every flick of the wrist. His drawings, once complete, became floating images of light in the air, like faded neon signs.
Then, in an even, monotone voice, Harris said, “Xop, I call you to this world.” Xop was one of the few names of minor imps that Harris thought he remembered seeing listed in one of his books.
From the air in front of him, something popped into existence with a literal popping sound. A furry flying creature appeared, flapping its wings and seeming thoroughly confused. It looked like a light brown baby sloth, except that it had bat-like wings that were covered in a fuzzy brown fur. A little puppy-dog nose stuck out just a bit between playful brown eyes surrounded by a mask of darker brown fur. It was almost too cute, as if some writer was trying way too hard to create a clichéd adorable animal companion. It was the second cutest being Harris had seen that day.
AUTHOR Bio and Links:
K.R.R. Lockhaven lives with his wife and two sons in Washington State. Together, they conjured a bearded dragon named Sandy who rules over a hoard of sand and devours crickets by the dozens. When not writing or raising kids, he works as a firefighter/paramedic.
Twitter- @Kyles137 https://twitter.com/kyles137
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3.75 out of 5 stars
The Conjuring of Zoth-Avarex: The Self-Proclaimed Greatest Dragonin the Multiverse by K.R.R. Lockhaven describes the challenges faced by Harris Reed, as he and his fellow trainees arrive at the Site, where he will put his training in magic to practical use. Unfortunately, their arrival coincides with the unwilling arrival of the dragon Zoth-Avarex. Somehow, the banishing of Zoth-Avarex becomes the first task of Harrris and his new colleagues.
This tongue-in-cheek fantasy takes many popular tropes from this genre and tweaks them a bit with humorous results. There are plenty of zany characters who face a quest that constantly morphs, with unexpected results, and lots of sly allusions to modern society and its ills. I love the postulation that authors’ ideas are coming from multiverses, and the revelation at the end was a perfect quirky twist…as were the alternate ending and epilogue.
I would have liked to have a bit more depth for all of the characters, since the roller-coaster ride of events just kept providing more puzzles to solve, but I never felt I got to know anyone. The story itself reflected the frustration many of us face when dealing with the mindless bureaucracy that constrains our lives, and I found myself gritting my teeth at some of the crazy turns the story took. I think that those who like satirical fantasy will enjoy this story, and fantasy fans will enjoy the melange of inside jokes.
A copy of this title was provided for review