May 292014

Review: Olde School

Review: Olde SchoolOlde School by Selah Janel
Published by Seventh Star Press on Mar 18, 2014
Genres: Adult, Fantasy
Format: eBook from Publisher
Find the book: Amazon, Goodreads
Rating: three-stars

Kingdom City has moved into the modern era. Run by a lord mayor and city council (though still under the influence of the High King of The Land), it proudly embraces a blend of progress and tradition. Trolls, ogres, and other Folk walk the streets with humans, but are more likely to be entrepreneurs than cause trouble. Princesses still want to be rescued, but they now frequent online dating services to encourage lords, royals, and politicians to win their favor. The old stories are around, but everyone knows they’re just fodder for the next movie franchise. Everyone knows there’s no such thing as magic. It’s all old superstition and harmless tradition.

Bookish, timid, and more likely to carry a laptop than a weapon, Paddlelump Stonemonger is quickly coming to wish he’d never put a toll bridge over Crescent Ravine. While his success has brought him lots of gold, it’s also brought him unwanted attention from the Lord Mayor. Adding to his frustration, Padd’s oldest friends give him a hard time when his new maid seems inept at best and conniving at worst. When a shepherd warns Paddlelump of strange noises coming from Thadd Forest, he doesn’t think much of it. Unfortunately for him, the history of his land goes back further than anyone can imagine. Before long he’ll realize that he should have paid attention to the old tales and carried a club.

Darkness threatens to overwhelm not only Paddlelump, but the entire realm. With a little luck, a strange bird, a feisty waitress, and some sturdy friends, maybe, just maybe, Padd will survive to eat another meal at Trip Trap’s diner. It’s enough to make the troll want to crawl under his bridge, if he can manage to keep it out of the clutches of greedy politicians.

I received this book for free in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.

This was a delightfully fun story featuring trolls and ogres, magic and curses. With a very fairy tale feel, the story was quite charming.

In the beginning, I was a bit unsure of the troll main character and whether I would connect enough with him to enjoy the story, but my fears were unfounded as Padd turned out to be an extremely likeable character. There were a few times when I felt he was a little slow on the uptake, but he was an all around nice guy who made a charming hero.

He was surrounded by a cast of lovable supporting characters. I enjoyed his troll friends. They were amusing and picked on Padd a bit, while being very supportive of him. Flora was a fiesty addition, and I love Padd’s slightly awkward crush on her.

Much of the story stayed really true to the fairy tale feel. This made it a tad predictable, but that familiar feeling is one of the draws of fairy tales. The story had enough new elements that it stood its own ground, and wasn’t just another retelling.

Overall, this was an enjoyable fairy tale story. I liked the variety of characters, and hope this is the start of a series as I want to go on another adventure with them.

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