Once upon a time, in an alleyway in the slums of the City Of Lockes, a young and somewhat lonely boy named Sam Haversford turns a group of teenage douchebags into stone completely by accident.
Of course, this catches the attention of a higher power, and Sam’s pulled from the only world he knows to become an apprentice to the King’s Wizard, Morgan of Shadows.
When Sam’s fourteen, he enters the Dark Woods and returns with Gary, the hornless gay unicorn, and a half-giant named Tiggy, earning the moniker Sam of Wilds.
At fifteen, Sam learns what love truly is when a new knight arrives at the castle—Knight Ryan Foxheart, the dreamiest dream to have ever been dreamed.
Naturally, it all goes to hell when Ryan dates the reprehensible Prince Justin, Sam can’t control his magic, a sexually aggressive dragon kidnaps the prince, and the King sends them on an epic quest to save Ryan’s boyfriend, all while Sam falls more in love with someone he can never have.
Or so he thinks.
This book is ridiculous. Over the top. Bananas. Bonkers. Weird. Funny. Smart. Corny. Sweet. Hilarious. Too much. Not enough. Spot on. I didn’t know what to expect with this book. I mean look at the beautiful cover: it’s unassuming and seems perfectly respectable. Who would think insanity awaits you? And on virtually every page — EVERY PAGE — I lol’d (yes, literally), snorted, and/or had to just put the book down to laugh and ponder every detail of the moment. And the craziest part is this the first time I’m reading TJ Klune. Lesson learned.
This is an odessey/adventure tale. Sam is a brilliant and promising wizard apprentice. He’s beloved by pretty much everyone. He’s fiercely loyal to his family and friends and his King. He’s resourceful, which helps since he’s captured, like, a lot and finds himself in the most absurd situations. He’s confident in his abilities, yet awkward and completely clueless when it comes to his longtime crush Knight Ryan Foxheart. Will Sam be able to find the cornerstone for his magic, survive the trek to rescue a prince and *finally* lose his flower (preferably to Knight Ryan?) The answer to those questions is almost not even the point because there’s just so much more to this book than that.
It’s not just the cursing. Or the bizzare situations Sam finds himself in. Nor is it the oversexed gay unicorn and half-giant BFFs. Or the just crazy things they all say to each other. It’s somehow all of it together that totally works for me. Pretty much every character is so well drawn, I can see and hear them. And the technical aspect to Klune’s writing just works. Sometimes he’ll walk completely away from the insanity and tell us so much about Sam with a handful of words. Klune finds a perfect rhythm and the narrative flows in a way that I just adore. I will say there are a very few times when the joke/insanity goes on just a wee bit too long, and that coupled with how much the narrative and language just does not conform to the typical fantasy/adventure/romance book, I can see this book has the potential to rub some readers the wrong way. I get it, and that’s cool but absolutely none of that bothered me. I felt like this was a book that I could have written, actually, style and language wise … I also realized there is not much difference between me and a 20-year-old gay wizard apprentice, maturity wise, so Sam and his travails totally resonated with me. I loved it. This book is epic, and I rec it so hard.
4.5 pieces of eye candy