*I received a free copy of this book via Voracious Readers Only and Story Origin, with thanks to the author. The decision to review and my opinions are my own.*
Blurb: “What’s wrong with ‘Dave’? Dave’s a good name for a Spartan!”
The Hard Blokes of Sparta fell through a portal into a strange magical world Now every day is a ‘don’t-get-eaten-by-a-dragon’ day. If that’s not stressful enough, no-one seems to think they have very likely names.
The Hard Blokes are trying to make things work, but compared to the creatures that live here, they’re not quite as hard as they thought they were. They have one last chance to prove themselves: rescue a princess, or face involuntary enrolment in a brutal-fighting-pit scenario.
But how can a man – even a Spartan – compete with orcs and goblins, chimeras and dragons?
Dave might have an idea, but he doesn’t think his friends will like it…
The Hard Blokes of Sparta is a comic fantasy novella full of laughs, action, and adventure.
If you like your fantasy fun and fast paced, you’ll love the Hard Blokes of Sparta.
This novella is the first in what I hope will be a long-running series.
Set in a fantasy world where figures – and monsters – of myth and legend mingle with people from various times and places in history, the story follows Dave and his friends as they attempt to navigate a world in which their skills are obsolete. As Spartan warriors, Dave and the boys were fearsome and respected. Now, on Level 31, they live in a hovel in the slums and struggle to scrape up even the most pitiful mercenary job to pay their debts.
That is until Prince Ahmed offers them a large wad of cash to rescue a beautiful princess trapped in a monster-guarded tower. Unfortunately the rescue may be trickier than they anticipated, forcing the Hard Blokes to resort to tactics they haven’t ever used before like sorcery, and magic, and using their brains. Equally unfortunately, all might not be quite what it first appears.
The Princess in the Tower is a fun introduction to the Level 31 set up and characters, and a humorous fantasy adventure that turns the tropes upside down is right up my street. I love Dave as a main character, and his development arc of having to step outside his comfort zone in order to navigate this new world really hooked me in.
My only quibble here at all was that I wanted more! I actually huffed loudly when the story ended because I needed to know what would come next. Luckily for me, The Hard Blokes of Sparta: The Daemon in the Basement is already out, so I don’t have to wait too long to find out!
The Hard Blokes of Sparta didn’t live in Sparta, despite their name. This was because Sparta didn’t exist anymore, at least not on their level of reality. But names were important. That was what Dave thought, and he was the leader of the Hard Blokes. So, they kept the name even though they lived in a cramped, run-down bedsit in The Squibs, which was the cheapest district the city had to offer.
– Jamie Brindle, The Hard Blokes of Sparta: The Princess in the Tower
Find more from Jamie Brindle at his website here, or you can follow him on Facebook, Twitter and Goodreads.
The Hard Blokes of Sparta: The Princess in the Tower is available on Amazon right now!
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