This really is a funny book. If you’re a fan of SFF, you won’t be able to stop laughing while you read it.
I loved the parody of all things people are too inclined to take seriously. There are different kinds of humour—this book is the kind that makes you smirk in a knowing, superior manner. It’s a sort of inside joke that bibliophiles appreciate.
The plot’s OK-ish. The ending didn’t seem to fit well with the book. Minor annoyances these, don’t really spoil the fun of reading the book.
Obligatory quotes follow.
The Vertical Sea had been created long, long ago, when magic was young and wild in the world. Some well-meaning prophet, as the legend goes, had tried to part the seas to let his people cross southwards from Elaken to unknown lands across the southern seas. The immensely powerful charm he had used had worked beyond his wildest expectations. Unfortunately, however, he had been pointing his staff in the wrong direction. He had created a vast passage, not southwards to the unknown world but right across the world in a great circle…
‘I have heard of the sword of Raka, of course, but do you think that this is the best possible sword for Simoqin’s Hero? I mean, it doesn’t even have a name. And magic swords should have names.’
‘In the east, we do not name our swords—we consider it silly.’