My Rating 5 of 5 Stars
“John Charming isn’t your average Prince…
He comes from a line of Charmings — an illustrious family of dragon slayers, witch-finders and killers dating back to before the fall of Rome. Trained by a modern day version of the Knights Templar, monster hunters who have updated their methods from chain mail and crossbows to Kevlar and shotguns, John Charming was one of the best–until a curse made him one of the abominations the Knights were sworn to hunt.” (Amazon Blurb for Charming: Pax Arcana Book 1)
All of the above is true, but due to the aforementioned curse, John is now leading a very low-key life, tending bar–hiding–in rural Virginia, until the wrong people walk through the door, and turn his safe but humdrum life upside down. Not exactly an unusual premise as urban fantasy goes, but the surprise is in the writing, folks. Elliott James has a way with words. Especially funny, snarky words.
The adventures in Books 1, 2, and 3 are well written, believable, and yes, charming. But most of all, the ever-present one-liners are utterly addicting. I knew I was going to love the series the minute I read, “Wait . . . did I just write that last part out loud?” That did it for me, and onward I went, pausing only to savor and highlight other droll and witty lines.
Combine those great lines with chapter titles that are worth the price of admission alone, and I’m a fan for life. How can you resist chapters like “If Shoving You is Wrong, I Don’t Want to do Right,” or “The Norse Whisperer,” or my favorite, “Psychopomp and Circumstance.”
Now for those of you who can take or leave that kind of humor, there’s still plenty of adventure and action, with all the usual suspects, and a few who aren’t so usual, like Valkyries and a very creepy Naga.
There are currently four books in the series out. I’ve only read the first three, but I’m quite confident I’ll enjoy #4 just as much. Highly recommended for fans of urban fantasy, magic, various and sundry supernatural creatures, and an extremely funny and appealing hero, determined to do the right thing, in spite of his bad luck so far. And if you don’t believe me, check out what Patricia Briggs, Kevin Hearne, Richard Kadrey, and my idol, Seanan McGuire have to say. It’s all there on the Amazon page! 🙂