My review of this book on Goodreads was short: “Come up with crazy plan to steal from/ kill dragon, screw up everything but still win. Repeat. And cuss a lot. An entertaining book, but not great.”
I stand by this. The gang of losers contains Will the down-on his luck farmer, Firkin the village drunk, Quirk the naive academic, and the mercenary duo of Lette she-bandit who wants a more peaceful life and Balur the lizard man. The fun thing about the group dynamic is that they’re always on the edge of falling apart, because some of them have secrets and some of them don’t get along and some are crazy. The only time this gets irritating is that Lette fantasizes about killing Quirk too often for very little reason.
The plot is basically a three-peat of the pattern mentioned above. Each time though it results in victory over the dragon(s) adds further difficulties for the group. After round one, everyone thinks Will is “the Prophet”, and after round 2, the group has a caravan of thousands following them around. In retrospect I kind of wonder if there isn’t some religious satire happening. As Will bemoans the fact no one wants to hear him say he is NOT the prophet, Firkin has some ridiculous sermon observations about how he makes it up as goes along. Firkin styles himself as the Prophet’s head priest, and so preaches to the crowds. Then there’s the wandering and near destruction of everyone which, after round 3 ends with a volcano exploding, has a literal rain of riches (except no one but Quirk seems to notice).
While over all the book is decent entertainment, it does have some really great moments like when Balur finally gets the recognition he’s been after most of the book after walking about of a dead dragon’s head that gets blown out of the volcano. He describes it himself as “That is being what the bards call f***ing epic s**t.” Did I mention there was lots of cursing? It adds to the overall freewheeling effect the whole thing has, and lack of seriousness with which the story takes itself. Even Balur’s syntax which seems stereotypical of an ‘other’ character like him gets directly noted. Balur himself says something along the lines of it’s just part of his character,
The excerpt from the sequel is intriguing, so I might have to look that up. But at least now I know that just searching the series title gets me mostly romance- looking things, so be sure to include the subtitle and/or the author.