Before last week I hadn’t heard of Ryan Drake, possibly because his first book – Gordan of Riss and the Malformed Sprite – was only published a little over a month ago. He came to my attention by combining a giveaway with some of my favourite authors (Robert Bevan, Steve Wetherell) plus others I haven’t yet read. Not being one to pass up a freebie or a bargain, I grabbed the sample and checked it out.
In short: I was hooked.
In the short time since this was published Mister Drake has certainly hit the ground running, topping the humorous young adult categories on Amazon. The title and cover should give you an indication this is a young adult / comedy / fantasy title, and it delivers this in spades. First off, the blurb:
Gordan of Riss is a troublemaker and thief, but what makes him unique is his tail. He’s spent much of his life trying to find out why he has one, chasing down possible answers and causing chaos wherever he goes.
But when this sets him against a Sorcerer he’s never met, Gordan learns that even the most innocent quest can turn dangerous. Deadly, even.
Facing increasing threats to himself and those around him, Gordan will have to choose between his troublemaking ways and becoming an actual hero. And when the Sorcerer’s plans are finally revealed, he must use all his abilities just to survive – including a couple he didn’t know he had.
Will it be enough?
And will he learn what he most wants to know?
Gordan of Riss is a rouge on a mission to find the truth of himself. Sound like a noble mission? It is, but it’s the rouge element that lands him trouble. Gordan is the narrator of his own adventures, and we join his current quest in the town of Ulm where he’s facing a group of unfriendly merchants.
Accused of steal, knocking over, and in one instance farting on the wares being sold in the marketplace he hightails from that problem and straight into another. And another. And increasingly more and more bad luck.
Which strikes him as odd. He relishes in causing trouble wherever he goes, but the run of bad luck seems excessive. Eventually, he’s on the run with only a mouthy, violent, perpetually drunk pixie to keep him company.
Eventually teaming up with the mysterious Gabriella (don’t call her Gabby), the mismatched trio are flung together for no other reason than trying to avoid certain death by Orc. The banter between the three is fresh and funny. Sometimes this kind of thing can become stilted, but I found it believable and well suited to the characters.
Gabriella sounds like she’s a lot more than you discover in this book. There are hints all the way through this book that she is more than she seems and I for one certainly hope to see her again and for her character to flesh out in further adventures.
I enjoyed this so much I immediately read the prequel – Gordan of Riss and the Kobold Prince – and then went to get book 2 – Gordan of Riss and the Melding Pond – and was dreadfully disappointed to find it’s on pre-release (dropping end of February). Without a doubt I’ll be grabbing that one when it’s released.
The book is obviously part of a larger series, but the end rounds off nicely with no annoying cliff-hanger that make you curse the author. A note about the cover: The book is categorized as young adult, and the cover (in my opinion) make it looks like it’s aimed at the younger end of the market, but don’t let that put you off. This is an enjoyable read no matter your age.
Mister Drake has made me an instant convert, and I can tell I’ll be buying a lot more of his books in the future.
A great, fun, easy read and I can’t wait for more. Check out the sample on Amazon!