The Fantastically Underwhelming Epic of a Dead Wizard and an Average Bard, written by Kian N. Ardalan, lives up to its title at times, yet at other times is quite a fun story… so I’m torn. Ultimately I think it’s a good story, and as the chapters progress, it gets more interesting… but occasionally, it flounders, and I can’t help but think some more aggressive editing could have tightened up the story.
Set in a land in a time after magic has left the world, we follow the adventure of an unremarkable bard named George. He has a life goal of finding a forgotten, maybe mythical, place where the heart’s desire can be granted.
He’s fairly sure it exists. He has a magical talking skull tucked away in his rucksack that proves at least part of the myth is true… so surely the rest of it is.
The skull, a long, long dead wizard named Simantiar who lived in the time of magic. The most powerful wizard who ever existed but has since lost all of his memories and subsists on a diet of snarky remarks.
The narration by Kevin Kemp was well done. I could have lived without the slight whistle behind Simantiar’s voice, but after a while, it stopped bothering me as much. The characters are all quite endearing, well, most of them, and Kemp does a great job voicing them as such.
Overall, I think I’ll listen to this one again in the future. It was enjoyable enough to revisit, even if there were parts I thought dragged on a bit.