Orconomics - an amusing look at the fantasy genre
Humorous books often fall flat for me but this time I must admit I often found myself chuckling quite a few times. Orconomics takes a look at the financial eco-system that fuels a world where being an adventurer is a standard career pursued by many and heading into a dungeon to slay monsters for loot is merely a job. Adventurers are common and all of them are part of the Heroes Guild where they can achieve levels when they are assigned points for killing foes. What is a foe? Well it is anything designated as such by the guild and quests are contracts that are funded by investors who are investing in the potential loot to be collected by killing those foes. This book takes a look at those in the background of this peculiar financial eco-system, and how they are manipulating things to their advantage, but the main stars are a party of down-on-their-luck adventurers caught up in the middle of these machinations.
Gorm Ingerson is a Dwarven berserker who fell on hard times twenty years ago when his career was derailed by a botched quest. He has since been thieving just to get by when he suddenly finds himself being strong armed into a quest with a band of fellow misfits. This group of "adventurers" is meant to fail in order to serve the financial purposes of those in the background, but for Gorm it is an opportunity to actually get his life back on track so he plans to turn this set-up into a genuine opportunity. He is accompanied by 2 wizards who hate each other, a drunken Elven archer addicted to healing potions, a thief who fancies himself a bard, and a weaponsmaster who is seeking his own death. Not to mention his incompetent goblin squire that he somehow recently became saddled with. Sounds like most parties I have found myself in across my many years of gaming. :)
This book pokes fun at the many tropes found in fantasy books, RPGs, and video games and it does so in a manner that actually works. It has many amusing moments along the way and before you know it you are engaged in a story with characters that you actually care about. So if you are looking for a fun change of pace within the fantasy genre then this is a worthy pick up. It is the first book of a planned trilogy with the second book, Son of a Liche, already available. Doug Tisdale Jr. does the narration for the audiobook and he does a great job delivering on the humorous tone of the writing.