‘The Lure of Fools,’ or Tropey McTroperson walks through Tropesville, is an epic fantasy novel in which absolutely nothing you have not seen before happens. Behold! A farm boy with a thirst for adventure wishes for something more. Is he aware he is living in a fantasy novel? Perhaps
“He really did hate the so-called normal life of their small village. His childhood dreams were of traveling the world..”
But wait, there is more! He is also…wait for it…an orphan! And he grows up with a young girl his age who is also an orphan, and she might, just maybe, be harboring a crush on him that he is unaware of. Aw, young love. What of our young orphaned love interest? What is her story? She is also an orphan, and has raised her developmentally challenged brother since their mother died.
“Their widowed mother had lived a chronically tragic life. She prostituted for several years..”
Of course she did. There was some potential there with the brother, an avenue rarely explored in fantasy. But let’s just leave any thoughts of goodwill behind on that one, our young heroine (Maely) will soon be leaving the brother behind to follow her ONE TRUE LOVETM. (Side note, I honestly don’t done if the period should be before or after the TM and I am too lazy to Google it). Brother is quickly forgotten, brought up only a few times but never factoring into the story.
So Jerakan (our farmboy turned man of destiny) is in town when a group of baddies ride in. He knows they are bad, everyone in town can sense it. He goes home and tells his Uncle who goes into a frenzy because he has A PASTTM. Said Uncle digs out an old sword, hands it off to his teenage, naïve nephew, and tells him to go right back into town to join an adventuring party looking a magic source to hid the sword form the baddies. That’s right, right back to where the men who are searching for the sword were last seen.
So Jekaran goes on an adventure and Maely wants to follow. Knowing that girls are not allowed on the quest, she cuts her hair and puts on a hat, completely fooling Jekaran for most of the book with her clever disguise. Things go a little crazy, J-man bonds with the sword which turns him into super amazing warrior complete with backflips and somersaults while fighting, and a broken English speaking lizardman follows Jekaran because he has green eyes (which isn’t unknown in the land, but somehow marks him as the man of destiny).
OH, and the party is also joined by a flawless elf like creature (I smell a LOVE TRIANGLE) who is first seen by Jekaran as a group of men surround her and threaten rape. She joins the party because why not, destiny and whatever else have you. She wants to walk up to the king and warn him that one of her people is looking to wipe out all humans. What’s her plan?
“I must journey to your capitol city and meet with your king.”
Pursued by multiple sources, some admittedly cool crystal golems on one side, and a rage filled cliché on the other, the party continues on their journey to nowhere, fight and get captured, and solve everything by remembering they have magic. The magic system was pure video game; magic items refilled by Mana Apeiron. Perhaps Sanderson fans looking for a much shorter book can find something to like here. Oh, and Maely broods because Jerakan doesn’t love her.
I don’t know, I could be overly critical here. This was not a horribly written book, just not all that interesting to me. The most interesting aspect, a man turned to an avatar of death in the introduction, is completely absent form this volume; obviously his story is going to be bigger in future books but it was the only one I cared about.
Review copy received through NetGalley.