Another Fine Myth
Myth Adventures #1
by Robert Asprin
This is one of my favorite novels and the first book in my favorite series. The perfect blend of… well, read the review and find out why I give Another Fine Myth by Robert Asprin 5 out of 5 stars.
Synopsis from Goodreads:
Skeeve was a magician’s apprentice, until an assassin hired by an ancient enemy struck and his master was dead. Skeeve suddenly found himself alone with Aahz, a purple-tongued demon the old magician had summoned from another dimension as a practical joke just before he was killed.
Aahz had lost his powers. Skeeve had lost his job. So together, they set out through a universe populated by Deveels (or devils), Imps, dragons, unicorns and more, looking for a way to get even…
I’ve read (and reread) this book before, yet I never tire of it. Even written in the first person, Robert Asprin is able to employ dramatic irony when one of the other characters makes references and remarks about things found in our dimension, but not in Klah. “We have to bit the bullet and play the cards we’re dealt,” Aahz tells Skeeve. “You do know what cards are?” he asks, since Skeeve has add to ask for clarification about several other of Aahz’s comments. Indignant, Skeeve still has to ask what a bullet is.
What I Liked
Another Fine Myth is full of clever banter, humor, and magic. The magic, while prevalent through the book, isn’t the flashy Harry Potter magic, it’s much more subtle. In some ways, the ending was anticlimactic because there was that lack of flash, but in other ways, its more fun trying to figure out how everything is pulled off.
I think what puts this book over the top is the characters. There is a true depth to their personality to where I can picture them in situations that don’t arise in the book. I know which one I would want with me on a long car trip and I know which one would be my best friend. This is one of the few plot driven novels where I can picture the characters that vividly.
You may remember that I complained about the quotes interrupting the story in Handle With Care by Jodi Picoult; in that novel, they dragged on and I didn’t get much out of them. Jodi needs to learn from Robert. His selection of quotes are brief, one to two sentences, and usually both ironic and relevant to the chapter it introduces.
With the proper consideration in choice of allies victory may be guaranteed in any conflict.
Though I looked it up and cannot guarantee this is actually a Benedict Arnold quote, I still find it amusing and most people won’t bother to look it up.
What I Didn’t Like
I like the second book so much more, but that review is coming. My one and only complaint is hard to explain but I’ll do my best. While plot driven, it almost seems slow, but it never drags. There’s several day-to-day scenes, but it’s not empty fluff either. Maybe it’s because I listened to the audiobook three times back-to-back before writing the review. There’s action, but it’s the subtle mind games and trickery that gets them into and out of trouble rather than fight scenes… most of the time.
Still, I highly recommend this book to all fantasy readers.
You might like this book if…
- You enjoy family friendly novels that aren’t specifically YA.
- Your name is David and you play Words with Friends.
- You like characters with strong personalities; no wallflowers here
You might not like this book if…
- You don’t like books written in first person.
- You prefer the dramatic, over the top, dueling, flashy spells magic
- You want a fast paced book with lots of action