The Frugal Wizard's Handbook for Surviving Medieval EnglandFantasy, Science Fiction
A man awakens in a clearing in what appears to be medieval England with no memory of who he is, where he came from, or why he is there. Chased by a group from his own time, his sole hope for survival lies in regaining his missing memories, making allies among the locals, and perhaps even trusting in their superstitious boasts. His only help from the “real world” should have been a guidebook entitled "The Frugal Wizard’s Handbook for Surviving Medieval England", except his copy exploded during transit. The few fragments he managed to save provide clues to his situation, but can he figure them out in time to survive?
I wanted to have more fun with Brandon Sanderon’s The Frugal Wizard’s Handbook for Surviving Medieval England. I went into it already primed for the fact that it’s a bit silly, for a certain kind of humour, which isn’t always my thing — but I was prepared to go along with it and have a good time anyway. In the end, there was just a bit too much of it for me: too many cutesy inserts of the handbook, too many stabs at corporatespeak that were just a touch too predictable.
It might’ve been alright for me if the characters had really grabbed onto me, but they didn’t. The protagonist is a fuckup, in part because he’s been told he’s a fuckup and he’s just gone along with it because it seems obvious, but also because he’s not as clever as he sometimes seems to think he is when he’s not being down on himself. I didn’t appreciate one of the twists very much, and I was eyebrow-raisy about the love interest, and the ex-friend, and… gah, a bit too much of it, as you see.
I think there’s a lot of fun here for someone who is more into the humour of it, and it was certainly very readable… just a bit too silly for me. I had to put it down for a bit when the protagonist used the word “Nintendo” as part of fooling people into believing he was doing a magic spell. Just, ack, not for me.