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Allen, Will. Swords for hire.

CenterPunch (PO Box 43151, Cincinnati, OH 45243). 168p. c2003. 0-9724882-0-0. $6.95. JSA

This tongue-in-cheek fantasy is about a simple farm boy named Sam Hatcher and a royal guardsman and "sword for hire" called Rigby Skeet, and their quest to rescue the rightful king. Said king, Olive, has been imprisoned for the past three years by his evil brother and usurper Boonder, a nasty piece of work who likes to put worms in his hair. All the trappings of fantasy are here: a feisty damsel in distress, treachery and betrayal, narrow escapes, villains who tend to blather on about their villainy (thus setting themselves up for defeat) and of course the heroes who overcome impossible odds. While very funny throughout, like Terry Pratchett's work, Swords for Hire has a serious undercurrent that gives it substance beneath the froth. A promising young writer, Allen died in 1980 just after completing the book, and that is a sorry loss to the genre. Appealing, engaging and well paced, Swords for Hire will appeal to a range of readers. Donna Scanlon, Children's Libn., Lancaster Cty. Lib., Lancaster, PA
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Author:Scanlon, Donna
Article Type:Book Review
Date:Sep 1, 2003
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