Publication Date: September 9, 2011
Prince Donald of Westgrove is a huge fan of adventure stories and believes that his life should be an adventure. While traveling with his world-wise companion, Kwester, Donald sees his shot at living an adventure story become a reality. Donald, Kwester and Muce (a notso — not-so-tall — that they picked up along the way) discover that there is a magical statue known as the Warden of Mystic Defiance and that the Gotroxians intend to bring it back to life to use against Westgrove in a coming war. Donald sees his chance to live his dream and save his kingdom.
I love parodies and light-hearted spoofs. The Warden Threat (Defying Fate, Book 1) is a spoof of the epic fantasy genre and there’s nothing mean or demeaning about it. The author had a great time with a genre and his joy shines through the page through humor. This is a fun read with a great underlying message that can be enjoyed by audiences of all ages.
Donald was a great spoof character. He was written with an idealized sense of romance and adventure and a conviction that he was simply invincible. I dare anyone who reads this guy not to like him. He was optimistic to a fault and convinced of his ability to change the world. While his backstory was good, it’s easy to see the character as any male lead in epic fantasy. Heroic, bold and slaying the dragon — all things Donald would have liked to have done but never has.
To balance Donald, Morrese wrote Kwester, a world-wise guide and probably representative within the story of the audience. He’s annoyed by Donald’s optimism and convinced that sooner or later the kid’s headstrong thrust into adventure is going to get him killed. Kwester has been there, done that and not really sure if, when the time comes to save Donald, he’s going to step in — after all, saving the kid is not in his contract.
To round up the main characters, Muce is good-natured and full of kindness. Donald meets him when he sees the “notso” knocking at a broken door and assumes he’s trying to break into the home. Muce, after beating Donald pretty easily, asks the occupants if they have any money and when they say they don’t, asks if they want some. He is easily the best comic relief of the story. When a palm reader tells Muce that he has a rough road ahead, Muce sees that as an obvious message that he needs to get his boots fixed.
I loved, in this read that I was able to call to mind several different movies I’d seen and books I read for a mental picture and yet The Warden Threat (Defying Fate, Book 1) stood out on its own. I kept picturing Donald as the Cary-Elwes-character in The Princess Bride (20th Anniversary Edition). C.S. Lewis’ writing style was also called to mind while reading. On the negative side, the plotline does move a bit slowly. As a reader, I did wonder a few times if I’d be reading the next novel before things got going, but overall this is a good read. This story is in no way what I would consider to be YA fiction but if you wanted to read it with your child, there’s really nothing objectionable.
D.L. Morrese second novel in this series is The Warden Threat (Defying Fate, Book 1) and the first two novels can be bought in a set called Defying Fate – Two Tales of the Warden. I’m looking forward to reading the next one. Check out the reviews of An Android Dog’s Tale as well as Amy’s Pendant and Disturbing Clock. D.L. Morrese is a Florida based, full-time author. The Warden Threat received the Awesome Indie Seal of Approval for Excellence in Fiction and the Indie Book of the Day Award.
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