“Struglend Tales is the first book in The Struglend Saga, a series of comedy fantasy books written by Jan Jacob Mekes. The book follows Edward, the ugliest and probably most haphazard king Struglend has ever had, and his herald Fred, as they go on a quest to restore order to the universe. Well, maybe not the universe, but at least the little piece of land they call home – Struglend. In their journey to remove the evil knight who has invaded the kingdom, they meet several hilarious characters and often find themselves in tight situations to manoeuver out of. Will they succeed in driving out the evil that so brutally violated their land? Maybe they will, maybe they won’t.” —Amazon.com
This book got off to a promising start, with an allegorical kind of style. The characters of Death, Horatio, and the owl, were amusing, and I looked forward to reading about them.
Unfortunately, the initial story was quickly derailed by an aimless, meandering story which didn’t seem to have any underlying organization or purpose. There were some good characters—in addition to the three mentioned above, Fred and Grandma Mara were stand-outs for me—but also a lot of others who appeared in the story without much point, and served only to add a confusing number of names to the book.
The length of the book is another problem. Because it has very little structure, it’s very hard to follow over two hundred-plus pages. I might have rated it more highly had it been about half the length.
The writing itself is good, and I feel this author could do really well with a strong outline and a firm critique group. I’d be willing to give him another chance in the future if he continues to grow as a writer.
Title: Stuglend Tales
Author: Jan Jacob Mekes
Publication: CreateSpace Independent Publishing Platform (March 7, 2012)
Price: $2.99 (Kindle, Nook), $8.09 (paperback)
Author’s Website: http://bouffonbooks.com/