Sythyry (sythyry) wrote,

[Dis]Courtesy Review: On My Honor by C. Brill

The key to enjoying On My Honor by C. Brill is not to *like* the protagonist Timo, but to take him as an idiot and watch, with a large helping of schadenfreude, as he does the wrong thing all over the place, and makes the same mistake repeatedly, and generally stupids all over the landscape.

Some characters in some books are naïve. They would not know initially that their knight (when they were a squire) was bending the rules for their benefit, but they would not have to be told twice. They would remember that the commander said he /might/ do such-and-such, not that he /would/ do it, and not need to be corrected repeatedly. They might, after getting knighted, be obnoxious to *one* supposed commoner, but, after being put in their place, they probably wouldn't do it again and again and again. They might realize that hiding a fortune of gems in their hotel bed wasn't a good idea. They might ask someone for basic information about the lands they are travelling through. They might learn not to antagonize their teammates at every opportunity.

But Timo is an idiot, not a naïve. He makes the same mistake over and over again, when he's not busy making obvious new ones. The other characters agree: "You're an idiot!" is one of the most common conversational phrases in the book.

So if you're going to enjoy _On My Honor_, you have to read it as "An Idiot Blunders Through A Grungy Part of Fantasyland", and you have to not like anyone very much, especially Timo. That's straightforward. The tenth or twentieth time he disrespects the thieves who are working with him and being honest with him, you may get annoyed and be glad to see the next tribulation the author throws at him. That part works well — there are plenty of tribulations coming Timo's way, many of them entirely avoidable.

The world is fairly dark and grungy, but it's not a hopeless crapsack. People do behave decently and honorably from time to time. Sometimes even Timo does, though usually he's too much about the 'honorably' to handle the 'decently' part. But sometimes other people do the right thing, too. And sometimes they aren't even killed horribly for doing so. I appreciate that in a gritty fantasy book: there's a big difference between "things are /usually/ awful" and "things are /unwaveringly/ awful".

Three insults at the people helping you out of five. A fun read when you're in a vicious mood, especially if you've been dealing with idiots in real life a bit too much.

TRIGGER WARNING: Timo gets date-raped (by women) several times. He does not seem to notice. Modern readers may notice.

DISCLAIMER: I got a free review copy of the e-book from the author.
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