Hero, Second Class

Cyrus will have to call on his friends, a beautiful young cat girl, and all the power of the Capital Letters and Arbitrary Numbers if he is to live to become a full-fledged Hero. Book 1 in the Hero Complex comedy fantasy series, by Mitchell Bonds.

Have at You!

Cyrus Solburg is a young man who dreams of becoming a Hero in a fantasy world in which Heroes owe monthly dues and Villains are allowed only one eclipse per fiscal quarter.

Cyrus becomes the apprentice to Sir Reginald Ogleby, also known as the Crimson Slash, a towering swordsman with a titanic sword and a penchant for self-narrating his own battles. It’s up to Reginald to train Cyrus in the essentials of Heroism so that one day, at the conclusion of his first Quest, Cyrus may become a Hero, Second Class.

More is afoot than the routine of training in the arts of Heroic Derring-Do, however. A bona fide Arch-Villain is on the loose. And this Villain is particularly interested in Cyrus, not least because of how Cyrus seems to have magic coming to him in spite of himself, resulting in tremendous disruption of the magical planes.

Entering into the fray come a wise-cracking Dragon, a petulant gargoyle, the Heroes’ Guild, the Army of Darkness™, and a horde of cursed invisible Centaurs. Cyrus will have to call on his friends, a beautiful young cat girl, and all the power of the Capital Letters and Arbitrary Numbers if he is to live to become a full-fledged Hero.

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Paul Lee
Member

Yes, Hero, Second Class was one of the most fun fantasy novels I’ve ever read.  I wanted to dislike it for being so awkward and for making fun of my favorite genre, but it ultimately convinced me that it was laughing with fantasy instead of laughing at it.  Trying to take it seriously (which is practically impossible to do) would of course lead to the conclusion that it’s absolutely terrible.

And yet, the way the book exaggerates the cliches sort of brings to life the things that fantasy readers like me actually love about the cliches.  Its unabashed fun kind of gets to the essence of the genre.  By the end, I was convinced that I really had experienced profound heroism and love, even while the book self-consciously smirks at its own Profoundness.

Great review!  I’ve got to get the second book sometime.  I hope Bonds finishes the trilogy. 🙂 

Paul Lee
Member

I think the style of parody and the hyperbole is somewhat reminiscent of The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy by Douglas Adams. 

Joanna W
Guest
Joanna W

Burnett — I do know know him …. and the kids he grew up playing with and inserted into his books 😀 … Yeah, he’s everything you guessed. And I give him a hard time about it, well, cause he’s finished and published two books and I haven’t completed one. *Thinks jealous thoughts in his general direction* (The author hat, though, was an addition to his persona, well, when he became a published author) But he might be happy to know that I quote him often enough — especially with the Arbitrary Numbers. That one was quite brilliant.