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The Heroes' Journey

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Worth reading 😎

A short story rather than a novel, witty and original, but perhaps a little too detached.

I picked this book up because I liked the idea of taking the piss out of serious fantasy adventure. Anyone who has ever been to creative writing class knows about the hero's journey, which every successful story apparently has to have. It's nice to see this cliche of story telling mucked around with a little, and treated with the disrespect it deserves.


The two wizards in the story seem to be minor bureaucrats trying to ensure they rack up enough heroes completing journeys. It wasn't clear to me exactly why - were they paid per completed trip, or did they just find it amusing? But they certainly take a lot of trouble over it. As each hero goes on his journey, they mark off essential milestones on a checklist; acceptance of quest (or refusal), meeting the mentor, overcoming an obstacle, etc. All of this was mildly funny, in a dry smile sort of way, but because the plot is so heavily ironic, I didn't connect with any of the characters on an emotional level. Beyond being a bit naive and at times ornery, I couldn't tell you what the hero, Frank Fury, was like as a person, or distinguish the Wizards - both caddish liars - from one another. The dialogue was great, snappy and realistic, but I often found the scenarios hard to swallow. The wizards' excuses for pushing Frank along on the various essential steps get more specious and unbelievable as the story goes on, but Frank pretty much falls for everything. And then the story ends, abruptly, Frank having completed his travels, and you're left thinking, fine, but what was it all for? And over it all you can hear the author's whimsical, ironic voice, reminding you that it's a joke, so why should they have a reason for anything, really?


Overall I quite enjoyed the book, but I would have liked it to have a bit more depth, of characters and plot, and to be able to feel more engaged. And I do really need to know why the wizards bothered in the first place.

Reviewed by

I'm an author but I also read a lot. I do especially like to read books by high quality indie authors, because you often get original and unconventional work which wouldn't have been picked up by the major publishers.

The Heroes Journey

About the author

In 2018 John, after a lot of thinking, finally decided he was going to become an author. In 2020, still working on his big epic, he decided to let a short story, which he had written in the meantime, be his first published book. view profile

Published on April 01, 2020

Published by

10000 words

Contains mild explicit content ⚠️

Genre: Epic Fantasy

Reviewed by