Maygest's Tale (Tales from Land of Maygest Book 1)

By C. E. Cannery

Not for me 😔

If inconsistency in characters building and plot armor the size of a tank is for you, go for it.

Now, before we begin, I write this review with somewhat of a bias pov. I bought "Maygest's Tale" because the book's author had reviewed and enjoyed my book, which is a huge thing for us indie authors, so I want to do something in return. I have tried – hard even, to love this book, but just couldn't turn my eyes away from all the flaws it had, ergo, here we are.

The reading overall wasn't a pleasant read.

In chapter I, we are introduced to Maygest, a grumpy conman in the middle of an act. From the synopsis, we know he has been in the business for a long time, and his act would require him to cry. Please, make a guess. Will our protagonist use some clever trick for the sake of consistency, like a seasoned traveling conman should?? The good old hidden onion or fake tears?? Nope... He resorts entirely to memories and emotions. Fine! I'll give him the benefit of the doubt, as real things tend to win people over easier. Then, someone in the crowd pointed out Maygest was a conman. He recognized Maygest face because he sawed the conman while the "virtuoso" himself was pulling his trick off elsewhere. And you would think a seasoned conman who had traveled the land will have some form of disguise, like a fake beard, fake scar, an eye patch, or a fake hunchback or anything. Later, it's revealed that Maygest wouldn't even dare enter surrounding towns where he had conned people in the past; a problem can be solved with the aforementioned disguise. Had it stopped there? Well, no, apparently. Now, after being exposed, the long-time con artist must find a way to flee the scene. Will he A: pull a Jack Sparrow like an escape, or B: will he create a distraction or diffuse the situation, and/or C: turning the crowd against one another, or better, against the very man who exposes him?? The answer is... none of the above. He ran away while trying to signal his stolen horse. Now, betting your only escape plan on a steed that barely listens to you (his horse ignores his plea for half the escape sequence or so) is one thing, but outrunning an angry mob with "weak joints" is another huge thing to process. Yes. Maygest HAS weak joints. Something that was made canon by the author herself. Where was this setback while he sped away from the crowd like Barry Allen??

The problem was even worse in chapter II. This time, Maygest got himself caught in front of a group of knights, with spears, swords so sharp it could kill him in one swing. So naturally, as cunning as he is, he would try to maintain his image of being a weak, innocent coward and lay low, for the time being, right? Right?? Nah. He insulted the captain of those knights without even batting an eye or think twice for his own safety. Like... what?? But naturally, he couldn't die because the plot still needs him to advance. A knight talked Maygest out of danger because they need a guide to take down a bandit camp, and the conman wouldn't dare make a move, because he was a "coward," reasoned the knight. The con artist himself wouldn't even try to save his own neck and only survive because an enemy suddenly wants to spare his life and manage to convince his superior, who was insulted just 2 minutes ago. And no! No! Don't "he is a coward" me! How big of a gut would you need to openly insult someone with a whole group at his command?? And all of them were armed with spears and swords and armor.

I tried to move past that but had to ultimately stop when Maygest proceeded to steal from army men in their camp while being watched over.

I read this book with my translator / editor, and while I gave it a 1, he gave it a 3, saying: "While I won't be recommending this to anyone else, I would read through it if I ever need to turn my brain off a few hours". So a collective 2 on our part.

I liked the premise: a flawed character who had to learn to be better, but the inconsistency was too much to bear. I wouldn't even bet on that, honestly, at least not after seeing how Maygest can just change coordinately with the plot. Would I recomment it?? No.

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I'm a Vietnamese - born and raised - indie author. I write about my culture as it's unexplored in English fiction. My favorite author is Jin Yong. My works are usually translated by my best friend, a fan of Rick Riordan and Cassandra Clare.

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