cover image Just About Anyone

Just About Anyone

Carl R. Jennings. Dark Owl, $11.99 trade paper (286p) ISBN 978-1-951716-20-2

The citizens of the Kingdom of Ugh have taken revolution to absurd new heights in this funny but uneven fantasy from Jennings (Mister Posted and the Brain Freeze Goddess). Residents of the capital town of Bellend have refined the art of beheading monarchs with practice and have high standards for the dramatic entertainment expected from these events. When the latest in a long line of rulers loses their head, the Wizard Rongwei and Witch Ednar decide it’s time to end the insanity and must come up with a solution to break the cycle. They each set out to find a candidate for ruler, with the preposterous notion of letting the people choose. Humorous details and parodied fantasy tropes entertain throughout, though some finer worldbuilding aspects ring false as Ednar and Rongwei travel the kingdom in their search. Having concluded that attractiveness is the most vital criteria for keeping the citizens happy, Ednar recruits llama farmer Radish, while Rongwei’s criteria for choosing Wymarc, the dissatisfied, bar-brawling daughter of a tailor, goes frustratingly unexplained. As both campaign, botched acts of heroism, failed public outings, and an all-out riot lead to a satisfying conclusion. There are a few wobbles, but fans of comedic fantasy will still enjoy this humorous, inventive take on kingmaking. [em](Sept.) [/em]