The Legend of Griff by Richard Sparrow

A magic sword that can detect monsters! The rebels possess it and want to get it in the hands of that one true hero… but stuff happens. Like, a lot of crazy stuff. From a magician, to Arn, a pig farmer’s apprentice (who may be that lowborn kingdom saving dude), to Griff the (No surname yet). Sparrow plays with all the tropes in this fun romp through haunted woods, peaceful hamlets, and unnerving throne rooms. Who will wield the sword and what is it’s role in the possible take down of the tyrannical king? The power of the people will rise… from the hands of Griff? Griff? The lute-playing, slacker who only wants to make enough money to move to tropical island and sip fruity drinks? We’ll see…

A smattering of characters populate this novel… Not too many as I see them as a part of the landscape of each setting, fitting into each scene while the main characters travel from one place to another. And there’s a warg, a wolf on steroids who is Griff’s faithful companion… y’know, they talk.

I liked how Sparrow uses several different points of view in telling the story, and sometimes scenes overlap which make for a good deal of fun in terms of perspective when each character tries to define his or her truth, or more likely who to finger for blame.

The humor in this book is all-encompassing. Physical humor, witty dialogue, and a lot of play on typical fantasy stereotyped characters.

My criticisms of the title lie in the narration and the plot line… at times there’s a proper narrator who comments on the story and the characters and then at other times, the story is told through straight 3rd person POV. This translates to a mixed tone; the writing didn’t hold its Pratchett-esque humor, but shifts from to a more serious tenor. And my issues with the plot are focused on the fact that the characters are being chased for much of the story without a real destination or goal other than “getting away.” The overall conflict took a bit too long to click and some of the character’s contemplations, while fun, meandered in the meantime. 

Overall, The Legend of Griff is a book that plays on many of the fantasy tropes… infused with humor and some spirited characters, the book is has some issues, but at its heart it’s a fun read.

3 out of 5 stars

Thank you to the author for a copy to read and review.

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