STANDARD HERO BEHAVIOR by John David Anderson

STANDARD HERO BEHAVIOR

Age Range: 11 - 13
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KIRKUS REVIEW

A light tone overlays serious undercurrents in this leisurely but entertaining fantasy. When his town’s hero turns out to be a fraud who had been buying off the thuggish local Orcs with tax money, struggling young bard Mason sets out with foil/sidekick Cowel to recruit some new heroes—and maybe find out what became of his father, who had left years earlier with the last batch. Against the odds, he’s ultimately successful in both aims. If the heroes he finds aren’t quite the steely eyed champions of song and story (one is the thoroughly adolescent daughter of two ex-heroes, for instance, and another a narcoleptic swordsman who fights best when he’s asleep), he does come away with the insight that “most of us aren’t really heroes, per se, / We’re just everyday people having heroic days.” He also learns that his father may not have lived a hero, but he did die as one. Tucking in comic bits (“Is Your Hero a Dud or a Stud? Take this Easy Quiz and Find Out”) and inept but promising verse, Anderson dishes up a debut that’s in the same vein as Gerald Morris’s Arthurian tales, though less polished. (Fantasy. 11-13)

Pub Date: Nov. 19th, 2007
ISBN: 978-0-618-75920-0
Page count: 288pp
Publisher: Clarion
Review Posted Online:
Kirkus Reviews Issue: Oct. 1st, 2007




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