Urkhart has left his homelands looking for something more. He feels he is well qualified as he speaks 16 languages and is a hard worker. Unfortunately, no one takes the time to find out due to Urkhart being half ogre, therefore he is really large and having blue hair to misshapen teeth doesn’t help either. It seems the only job he can find is scaring people into paying their debts.
What he doesn’t know is that there is more going on in the city than some inter realm games. Behind the scenes the king of the southern realms, Davkosh, is scheming to take over the central realm. To do this he has challenged central land's king to a 10 league race with the winner getting half the loser’s land. What kind of racer does King Davkosh have that makes him so sure that he’s going to win?
That’s exactly the question the king’s advisor, Dewdrop, asks. Suddenly, the advisor/illusionist is sent south to find out what kind of racer King Davkosh has. To do this, Dewdrop knows he’ll need someone who can understand several languages. He offers Urkhart the position and soon they are off.
As they work at fulfilling their quest, the run into thieving goblins, revolutionary dwarves, a mad king and a creature no one thought existed. Forget checking things out, can they even return alive?
This is an absolutely fun adventure fantasy that can be enjoyed by young and old alike. There are few adult themes in this story but plenty of youthful humor. (As adult themes, it would be more towards people being killed.)
The characters are interesting, lively and pure fun. Urkhart is a youthful half ogre who tries to be more human than ogre. It doesn’t always work. Still, his willingness to try and usual cheerful attitude keeps him loveable. Dewdrop wishes he could do more than illusions. However, he really can’t do magic. He’s fussy but earnest in his duty to his king. His familiar though is an imp that can change shapes. He doesn’t always show up when he’s wanted and sometimes he shows up when he’s not wanted. The other characters are just as well done.
The adventures are pleasurable to read. There are touches of humor sprinkled throughout. Even the southern rulers’ habit of throwing people to the alligators is similar to the Queen of Hearts in Alice in Wonderland yelling off with their heads. Magic, illusions, and underground tunnels ensure there is never a dull moment.
I truly liked this book and would highly recommend it to family and friends. I can see the ‘tween crowd relating to Urkhart and the older readers enjoying the light hearted feeling this book expresses. It is unique and has a fresh outlook on some very stereotypic creatures.
Overall, it’s a great fantasy that should appeal to a broad range of readers.
It seemed like such a good idea at the time ... a wager with the devious, dangerous and probably quite deranged King Davkosh of the Southern Realms. Half the kingdom staked in a race between mystery contenders. Ten leagues, point to point as the –er– crow flies.
Drewdop the Illusionist is quick to point out the flaws in this plan and is tasked with a secret spy mission - to find out just what kind of invincible champion Davkosh has training at home.
Travelling in magical disguise causes unforeseen complications for Drewdop, while his half-ogre bodyguard, in the guise of a beautiful woman, certainly turns a few heads.
But Drewdop soon discovers that the great race is the least of their worries. Davkosh's glamorous, fiery and ruthless queen, Gunora, is massing an army ready for attack whatever the outcome.
Meanwhile, deep in the dark forest, one of Davkosh's elite royal messengers is facing his own perilous destiny - how to become the world's first and only surviving dragon rider...