Sunday, 22 September 2019

Hobgoblin Boots by Tansy Rayner Roberts

Hobgoblin Boots by Tansy Rayner Roberts is a short novella set in the world of the Mocklore chronicles. It stands alone and you do not have to have read any of the other books to pick this one up. I previously reviewed Ink Black Magic and I’ve also read Splashdance Silver, but more than a decade ago, long before this blog came into existence.

At the age of thirteen, half-hobgoblin Bounty Fenetre found herself on her own, which was fine by her. There was a cute chainmail number at the smithy's she had her eye on, once she figured out how to fix it so it bared her midriff. Then Ma Fortuna adopted her and she met Luc, her new foster brother.

Four years later, at the age of seventeen, Bounty is older and wiser, and really wants to Seek Her Fortune. She and Luc ambush a hero and steal his armor, because as everyone knows, the first step to becoming a hero is to look like one. The second step is to be recognized as a hero by the world at large, which surprisingly, isn't as hard as it sounds. Mocklore is a land where magic crashes and smashes through the landscape, exploding with abrasive sounds and colors, the ideal place for a clever half-hobgoblin fosterling and a charismatic hero-in-progress to make their names.

The story follows Bounty as she grows up (reaches her late teens) and goes off to seek her fortune. First with her adopted brother, then alone. She encounters a variety of fantasy world scenarios and experiences somewhat of a coming of age narrative.

This was a short and entertaining read. The author doesn’t shy away from mocking fantasy tropes, but without mocking the entire fantasy genre. It’s a little reminiscent of early Pratchett, or perhaps Douglas Adams, but also not quite. Roberts has a voice all her own.

I recommend this novella to fans of Roberts’ writing and particularly the Mocklore books. If you haven’t read any of that series, this is a reasonable introduction and sample.

4 / 5 stars

First published: 2004, recent re-/self-published
Series: Mocklore universe, a standalone story
Format read: ePub
Source: Tansy Rayner Roberts' Patreon or possibly newsletter
Disclaimer: Although the author is a friend, I have endeavoured to write an unbiased review

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