Robert Asprin,
M.Y.T.H. Inc. in Action
& Sweet Myth-tery of Life
(1990, 1994; Ace, 2002)

The Great Skeeve, Robert Asprin's beloved magician, is back, with all his old friends, in the two-in-one reprint of M.Y.T.H. Inc. in Action and Sweet Myth-tery of Life. As always, they have new pranks, new schemes, new horrible predicaments to land in.

In the first book, Skeeve is busy tracking down his old mentor, Aahz, in his home dimension of Perv. This story follows his mob henchmen, Guido and Nunzio as they enlist in the military. Their mission: to ruin the queen's expansionist program however they can and to derail her army.

Sultry Tananda and her troll brother Chumley make appearances, as they and the dragon, Gleep, go stir up the countryside. The story follows Guido as he narrates, in true mob style, and proves that the story doesn't need to follow his boss. Meanwhile, he and Nunzio must deal with the army. They learn how to play the system of rank and command, while whipping their troops into excellent, or at least adequate, shape. The soldiers include Shu Flie, Hy Flie, Spyder and a troop of hilariously named characters as Guido and Nunzio do their best to create total mayhem ... and to avoid getting promoted again.

Skeeve returns for the second book, only to face an offer he can't refuse. Queen Hemlock has decided to marry him, after the mysterious death of her husband. If he refuses, she will abdicate, and he will be stuck with the kingdom forever. Now Skeeve must face the question of which woman he cares enough for to spend his entire life beside. From his steamy secretary to his first date (with a vampire), Skeeve faces the horrible truth that he knows nothing at all about women.

Both books are a delight, from Skeeve's naive attitude to the way nothing ever works out as expected. Robert Asprin's world is complex and well thought out, with plenty of characters who flit from book to book, usually reappearing at the worst possible moment. This series is difficult to drop into the middle of, but readers will enjoy all of the books, with their lighthearted pranks and horrid puns. It's a light, silly joy from start to finish.

- Rambles
written by Valerie Frankel
published 25 January 2003

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