Tales From Gundarland – Review by Martha A. Cheves, Author of Stir, Laugh, Repeat
‘The planet was named Gundar after the omniscient god who accidentally created the universe with an explosive sneeze caused by snorting a larger-than-average dose of his favorite recreational powder. The nodules of spittle flew through space and eventually solidified into suns, planets, comets and other celestial bodies. Gundarland is the largest land mass on the planet. Populated by diverse races such as dwarfs, humans, elves, half-pints, yuks and a few lesser races, these disparate races live cheek-by-jowl in many cases and get along with no more than the usual interracial hostility.
By ancient tradition, many warriors took a double major when they studied the arts of war. The double major came in handy during the occasional outbreaks of peace. Thus, in the early days, knight-accountants, warrior-chefs and soldier-lawyers roamed the countryside seeking combat and/or clients. The population of the planet has always been intrigued by magic. As a consequence, wizards were held in high regard, even the incompetent ones. Wizard schools even offered double majors as well as the combat schools.
Author Hank Quense has taken characters that we all recognize, put them into character form while having them live on the planet of Gundar. For instance we have Romeo and Juliet. Romeo Montague is a dwarf silver miner. Juliet Capulet is an elf. They met at a ballet class and fell madly in love with each other. But… Juliet’s brothers hate the Montague family and forbid their marriage. Will they end up like Shakespeare’s Romeo & Juliet? You will find yourself laughing out loud as you find out.
Next we have Zarro, black mask and all. Zarro is a dwarf who rides a donkey named Belinda. Belinda was won by Zarro’s father in a card game and she hated to be ridden but loved to sleep. In fact, the only way to mount Belinda was to cover her head with a blanket, which would put her into a snoring sleep immediately, mount, remove the blanket and prepare yourself for a bit of bucking.
The Long Stranger, another mask wearer, and his sidekick Pinto are out to save the country from the likes of Rolf and Ralf. Rolf and Ralf have taken on the task of relieving those traveling along the Trade Road of their rings, coins, jewelry and any other valuables they might find to pilfer.
These are just a few of the characters Author Hank Quense has brought to life in Tales From Gundarland. As I read each character’s story I couldn’t help but laugh. I also couldn’t help but picture Shrek as a character in most of the stories. This book would be perfect for a full series of new Shrek movies.
Review Stir, Laugh, Repeat at Amazon.com