Stuff of Legends, by Ian Gibson
When young Elliot is granted three wishes by his former nanny, his first is to go on an adventure with the legendary Jordan the Red. The only problem is that Jordan is retired and has no interest in any more adventuring. But when a bard and a wizard bent on revenge show up, it seems Jordan has no choice in the matter.
In a highly satirical take on quest fantasies, Stuff of Legends is a wonderfully refreshing and funny escape from reality. Jordan is a grumpy, retired hero who wants nothing other than to be left alone. Elliot is a naïve but pleasant boy who holds Jordan on a pedestal, and would love to be the hero that Jordan used to be. With the help of his elvish nanny, a hired bard, and a morally-deprived agent, Elliot gets the adventure of a lifetime.
This debut novel is witty, creative, and completely enjoyable. In fact, the humor reminded me quite a bit of one my favorite fantasy writers – Lawrence Watt-Evans, from his Legends of Ethshar series. Full of adventure, clever puns, and satirical characters, fantasy fans will love Gibson’s good-natured humor and smart writing. I was impressed with this strong debut.