Garth Nix,
Sir Hereward & Mister Fitz: Three Adventures
(Subterranean Press, 2013)

It's one of the more unusual pairings I've seen in a well-written fantasy setting.

Sir Hereward is a human male -- a consummate swordsman, artillery expert, mercenary, gentleman and wooer of women. His boon companion, Mister Fitz, is a puppet, brought to life generations ago by dark sorceries, and today wielding magical needles in an ongoing battle against evil gods.

Together, they roam the land, seeking employment, fighting when necessary and, as noted, occasionally putting gods to their rest.

Sir Hereward & Mister Fitz: Three Adventures is the start of a new series by Garth Nix. The stories here are short and to the point, placing our heroes in settings ranging from a wealthy but besieged city, a pirate ship and a nunnery, of sorts.

The back cover of my copy has an advisory warning readers that, while Nix has been known to write books for children, this one is for adult readers. That said, there's not much here to offend or unduly educate anyone, so fantasy fans young or old can probably have at it without too much concern, although Hereward might be a little too lusty -- and one character a trifle too cannibalistic -- for the very, very young.

I'll be honest, puppets kind of creep me out, and a living puppet seems better grist for horror than fantasy. But Mister Fitz is a pretty cool character nonetheless, a good foil for Hereward, and I would gladly read their further adventures.

book review by
Tom Knapp

18 May 2013

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