June 24, 2013

Review: Royal Flush - Scott Bartlett

Hello there!

Royal Flush is about The King. That's his name (kind of like "The Doctor" you know?). He is the King at The Kingdom and rules there, of course. Not that he does much, he hangs people every now and then or throws them into dungeons, but mostly, he embarrasses himself and shows up on the local tabloid in shameful stories that aren't always true, but sometimes, sadly, they are.

The King is a loner, but his advisor keeps telling him he must marry - a King must have a Queen and heirs, of course. But The King never wanted to marry. He did want to be King, of course, that's basically why he IS King. I mean, no one else wanted to.

So there is the King and hisAdvisor. And suddenly the King falls in love with someone at a bar, while drunk. And decides to marry her. But she doesn't want to - he's not really that much fun. And from then on, well, the story gets a bit... Weird.

You see, this is a complicated yet simple book. The plot isn't confusing, one thing happen after the other and you understand it perfectly. But, on the other hand, things become quite extraordinaire, the characters are JUST as obvious as they seem, which is a new one for me, usually authors try to make their characters deep, confusing, complete as human beings. Here we see people who are, really, just people in the end. You can always relate them to that cousin you know isn't very deep or that co-worker who seems to survive on instinct. But that's exactly where it gets complicated. It's hard to talk about it without spoiling the whole story - no plot twists, you see. Well, several plot twists, but not on the way we usually see them on the "I bet you didn't see that coming, right, so now I changed everything so you'd be surprised" kind of way. More on the "hum let's do something different with the characters now!"

Our King isn't the brightest or the fittest, or even the most charming. He isn't any of those things at all, bright, fit or charming. He's just plain and boring. And yet, you keep on reading and turning pages because, well, you just have to find out why on Earth he keeps on living and how on hell the author will find yet another way to torture him.

He almost loses his kingdom, but doesn't, then he really does, then he roams the land, finds another kingdom, goes back, travels, regains his kingdom, loses the kingdom and so on. It's complicated, of course. Always with a "companion", the Fiddler. The Fiddler has a name, but I didn't bother to look it up. The fiddler also has a lady-friend, a girlfriend if you like, who, of course, the King falls in love with. That's a very interesting part of the book, that and The Wisest Man Alive.

When I write it down, it seems like a stupid book. And in a way, it is. But it is so clearly intentionally stupid that you just have to keep on reading. It's a quick read, a fast paced book that can keep you busy during your boring idle hours, like Lunch Hour!

Book Summary: 
The Kingdom is careening toward catastrophe. Meanwhile, the King is cruising seedy taverns looking for likely maidens.
Maybe it's his incompetence and his weakness for beautiful women dragging him deeper and deeper into trouble. Or maybe it's that he has no other name than "the King".
Either way, he is portrayed as a cross dresser by the Kingdom Crier (the Kingdom’s most popular tabloid). Shortly after, he must defend his castle against a siege, with only his royal fiddler—while attempting to steal his royal fiddler’s girlfriend.
Winner of the H. R. (Bill) Percy Prize, Royal Flush seeks to answer that timeless question: can a man who throws his dates in a dungeon find a girlfriend?

You can buy Royal Flush at Amazon.