KINGDOM OF THE SNARK: The Quest for the Sword by Melanie Hatfield
ABOUT THE BOOK: (Released June 2012) If “The Hobbit” was written with the narrative style of “The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy,” you would have “Kingdom of the Snark: The Quest for the Sword.”
Renee the Righteous is a young Quester who must find the long-lost Sword of Power to save her people. When at last she thinks her quest for the sword is at an end, she discovers a catch: it takes two people to claim the blade, not one, so she needs a Questing Partner for help. Too bad Renee never bothered to make any friends on her journey, and she has to put her trust in a stranger. She thinks she has found the perfect Questing Partner in Guy Smokes, a hapless Assistant Barkeep always willing to help anyone with heaving bosoms. However, Guy might just change his mind after they are attacked by lustful nun assassins and lethal men in green cloaks. Will Renee be able to claim the Sword of Power, or will she and her Questing Partner be slain instead?
Journey to a land where men are women, women are men and unicorns are jerks in “Kingdom of the Snark: The Quest for the Sword.”
REVIEW: From the title, you can surmise that the author interjects her own brand of humor and repartee into this (first part of a trilogy) fantasy storyline following Renee the Righteous on her hunt for the Sword of Power. Melanie Hatfield takes the reader on a journey from the first few days following Renee’s birth to her quest for the sword and beyond. The reader is introduced to an ensemble cast of characters taken from every child’s fairy tale and nightmares.
The reader is also introduced to Renee’s adopted family of monks, including her adopted father Brother Malicide, who are embattled in a war with the neighboring ‘gang’ of murdering, virgin nuns who have made it their mission to destroy and take down anyone associated with the demon known as Renee. The storyline follows as Renee must defend the monks and fight off horny, virgin, killer nuns and a series of ‘Grimm’s’ fairy tale type characters of Mudville on her quest for the sword of power. It is said whomever is in possession of the sword will become the next king or queen, but there are a few ‘additional’ quests and catches that must be met before the rightful king or queen can take his/her place.
Personally, for me, the storyline fell flat in the humor department-the author tried too hard. The novel is written from third person POV but on many occasions the author interjects (or interrupts the flow) and addresses the reader directly using ‘dear reader’ to explain the ‘ins and outs’ and the ‘whys’ surrounding some of the storyline premise. At times the narration was colorful and interesting, and at other times, I felt as though the author forgot the age of her audience-especially during some of the one-on-one conversations between the ‘heroes’ and the ‘bad guys’-at these points the writing was simple and mundane. The story read like a child’s fairy tale, and throughout most of the novel, I thought I was reading a child’s story, but the band of horny virgin nuns and some of the descriptive violence would shake me out of that train of thought.
Kingdom of the Snark may be right for some readers, but it was not one of my favorite storylines or premise. I am not sure as to the age of the intended audience- from most of the storyline’s direction of humor and cover-I would say Young Adult or Middle Grade-but the gang of horny, virgin nuns ups the age category (in my opinion). If you like a fairy tale premise with ‘snark’ this story may be for you.
Copy supplied by author.
Reviewed by Sandy