Monday, December 21, 2020

Review of Fart Quest by Aaron Reynolds, illustrations by Cam Kendell

Fart Quest by Aaron Reynolds, illustrated by Cam Kendell
Format:  Hardcover
Publisher:  Roaring Brook Press
Number of pages:  277
Published:  September 15th, 2020
Source:  Publisher via Giveaway offered by Goodreads

Opening Lines:  "My name is Fart.  Of course, that's not my real name.  My real name is Bartok.  Someday I plan on going by BARTOK THE BRILLIANT!"   

Fart is an apprentice mage to Elimore the Impressive, and aspires to do impressive deeds just like his master.  Which has proven to be difficult when his master can't even take him seriously.  Who wants to be referred to as a gaseous emission?  Fart can't help that on spell picking day he picked out the spell for Gas Attack, it was just too cool of a name to pass up.

Mage Elimore is in the craft of seeking adventure,  slaying goblin's, and collecting treasure.  At the moment Fart and two other apprentices are on a mission with their mentors to raid  nearby goblin's.  Well actually, their master's will do the raiding, they're just supposed to watch and learn.  However, during the goblin attack, all of the goblins, along with Master Redmane, Master Oonah, and Master Elimore vanish.  Poof!  Vaporized with nothing but their robes and weapons left behind.  Left to fend for themselves, Fart, Pan, and Moxie, decide that they'll have to impersonate their masters and continue on to become heroes on their own.  None of them want to return to Krakentop Academy having failed their Hero Wilderness Training.  Then they come upon The Great and Powerful Kevin, who just happens to have a quest for them to seek out the Golden Llama and retrieve one of its magical golden farts.  So our three apprentices head out on their first quest in hopes of  proving they're the heroes they've aspired to be. 

Fart Quest reads like a dungeon and dragons adventure with the added bonus of a culturally diverse character, and fart type humor, placing this more in line with elementary school readers.  I quite enjoyed the descriptive action scenes, the full page illustrations by Cam Kendell and the way each illustration was coupled with a description of various terminology one would expect to see in a dungeon and dragon type campaign.  There's even a point when the story pages become completely dark, to give the reader the feeling of going into the dark Caves of Catastrophe.  Each illustration added to the action or helped the reader define certain aspects of the story, from the differences between a mage, a dwarf warrior and a monk, as well as defining the creatures the adventures encounter.   I also liked how Reynolds had Fart, Moxie and Pan gaining experience points for each task, new spell (magic missile) and for the monsters (ogres, owlbears and harpies) they encounter along the way to the Golden Llama.   And though at first the apprentices were seen as bumbling, lost and lacking some fundamental skills, they learned that the most important thing was to be who you are, and not to try and emulate someone else.  They learned to form a team and Bartok gained courage by defending his friends.  Lastly, I so loved Tick Tock, the philbling, not to be confused with a frog, salamander or gecko, he so reminded me of Dobby and hope to see more of him in The Barf of the Bedazzler, releasing February 2nd, 2021.