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Promises, Promises

by Jennifer Muirhead (follow)
I am learning all the time. The tombstone will be my diploma ~ Eartha Kitt.
Fiction (327)      Humour (69)      Fantasy (66)      Feminist (29)      Lesbian (15)     


promises promises, lesbian fiction, lesbian novel, queer fantasy, lesbian fantasy, L-J Baker, comic fantasy


Sandy Blunt is a second rate witch whose magic shop has seen better days. Sandy's one true talent is paying overblown compliments to women, which often gets her into trouble. While tipsy one day she tells the fortune of a beautiful young woman who, unbeknownst to Sandy is actually the disguised Princess Maybelle. Since telling the fortune of royalty is illegal, Sandy is threatened with execution. Her only hope is to prove that her predictions were actually promises. Sandy is given a year and a day to make good on all of her ridiculous promises, or she and her mother will be executed. Her friend, Ruth and her shop assistant, Drusilla, who claims to also be a princess in disguise, join her on her quest to find a unicorn, a magic talking earring, a dragon's scale and the various other items on the list.

The cover promises "A Romp with Plenty of Dykes, a Unicorn, an Ogre, an Oracle, a Quest, a Princess, and True Love with a Happily Ever After" and that is precisely what you get. It's similar in style to Goblin Quest by Jim C. Hines, though with a lot more female characters.

The book plays with and subverts various fantasy tropes. For example, Anax’athelia (“The gratuitous apostrophe is a bitch, I know. But I don’t get any work without it. My real name is Mavis Green") the Amazon warrior who accompanies the heroes is a strident feminist who takes the opportunity to lecture various characters about misogyny. Bob, the ogre is not interested in eating humans when he could be tending to his gladiolas. The plot is driven by a lesbian romance, with two women out to marry the princess, and various characters are bisexual, though the word is never mentioned.

The text is full of fantasy and pop culture references (Tolkein, various fairy tales, The Chronicles of Thomas Covenant, The Wizard of Oz, Shrek, The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy etc.), and fourth wall breaking comments on the genre. The latter got a tiny bit irritating at times, but the story was enough fun that I could overlook that. It's also full of some fairly creative gratuitous vularity (in particular, the phrase "twat full of clots" stuck in my mind) so if you find that sort of thing offensive you'd best steer clear.

Promises, Promises is a fun twist on the fantasy genre, with feminism, vulgarity, lesbians and lots of silly humour. It's available in paperback, Kindle and audio book editions.

Rating: 3/5
Published: 2011

#Fiction
#Fantasy
#Lesbian
#Humour
#Feminist
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