Book Review: Duck Blood Soup

Here’s a book review that I did for fellow Gunpowder Fantasy authors Frank and James Hofer.

Here’s the blurb:

When Eizenfeng’s leading wizards combine science with magic, the world changes dramatically. Technological advancements, coupled with racial and economic tensions propel the country toward war with a longtime ally. Jeunelux is oblivious to the building turmoil; scorching days harvesting tomatoes and her annoying older brother are more pressing concerns. 

Suddenly, strange dreams that haunt her nights become reality. Jeunelux, along with two other untrained and unlicensed wizards embark on a quest to save the girl’s father, rescue a giant, and prevent a war. The three friends must quickly hone their magical skills and take on responsibilities beyond their years to save innocent lives.

I like what the authors did with this book in many regards. Their source of power was unique, their approach to politics was interesting, but the thing that stood out the most about this book was their different take on Giants.

It was refreshing to see Giants represented as something other than stupid oafs.

I would definitely rate this novel as “Muskets and Magic”. There weren’t a lot of muskets (two major battles, that I recall, and one of them focused more on the magical members of the party), but there was a fair amount of magic.

There were some things that bothered me about Duck Blood Soup. I was not a big fan of the constant POV shifts. While they were internally consistent, hopping from head to head was a bit distracting and I think there were some things that could have been done differently if we didn’t know immediately what all of the characters were thinking.

The other thing that was a bit off was the use of a more modern vernacular. Maybe I’m just a fantasy purist (ironic as, like the Hofers, I write Gunpowder Fantasy) but this aspect was distracting.

Overall, I liked Duck Blood Soup and I look forward to the next book in the series.

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