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    A seriously enjoyable light read to cheer you up

    This book takes all the traditional tropes of a classic bodice-ripping fantasy and fairy tales – and twists them. There is the beautiful young damsel, Majilda, the strange, ruggedly handsome knight on a quest with his heroic steed, Muncaster; and the dastardly “mercenary raiders from Middle Atlantis” about to reap havoc and destruction down on Majilda’s home village, killing (almost) everyone she knows. So far, no surprises. But Majilda is no swooning, delicate little flower needing protection. She is a headstrong, independent female who dives straight into danger. She risks upsetting the villagers by saving some poor bird, but happily wears the fur of an endangered animal (albeit hidden under her other clothes). She is a thoroughly modern young woman – who harbours romantic dreams: “She could feel the reassuring weight of the stranger pressing against her back, which made her feel safe and protected and filled her with a mild erotic glow all at once. But this didn't diminish her sense of self-actualisation as woman, however, because she was so obviously strong and good at taking care of herself”; but is confident enough in herself to show emotion: “she burst into tears, which did not make her weak but actually only showed how in touch with her feelings she was”. How this will all play out in the next four novellas, remains to be seen. But the one certainty, is that it will not be the tale you expect. I really enjoyed this first novella in the series. It was written with a seriously keen dose of humour, and has some wonderful characters. If it is made into a film, I want Muncaster to be played by Maximus from “Tangled”. Highly recommended if you want to cheer up your day.

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