Titan. May 2024. 352p. ISBN 9781803365473. pap. $17.99. FANTASY
DEBUT After a spell gone wrong, the evil wizard Gavrax (he prefers Gav now) wakes up with no memories of who he is or what he’s been doing. Gavrax was in the middle of a complicated scheme involving three other wizards, a deadly ritual, and a kidnapped princess. Now Gav will have to do his best to play along, but he’s finding he doesn’t have the same appetite for evil as his former self—and it turns out he’s not the only one who’s playing a part. This humorous fantasy plays with stock tropes including evil wizards, captive princesses, and villainous henchmen to upend genre expectations at every turn. Readers will root for Gav as, horrified by his past deeds, he searches for an escape from his sinister lifestyle. Beyond gags about killer moat squid and what makes an appropriately evil outfit, Rozakis delivers commentary on entitlement and asks whether it’s ever too late for someone to improve.
VERDICT Silly but earnest, this cozy fantasy will appeal to fans of TJ Klune and Travis Baldree.
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