Planet Stories: The Walrus & The Warwolf by Hugh Cook
My rating: 5 of 5 stars
Swordsmith's apprentice Drake Douay is sentenced to death by drowning for vandalism and destruction of property. As Drake is swimming back to shore, he chances upon Zanya, a red skinned, red haired beauty, and decides he'll do anything to get into her knickers. Can two ships of pirates, revolution, and all manner of disgusting monsters stop Drake from being reunited with Zanya and giving her the rogering of a lifetime?
Drake Douay is a lying, cowardly, slimy, drunken fornicator. And I love him! This is one of the easier books I've ever had to rate.
The Walrus & the Warwolf isn't your typical fantasy. Drake Douay is no Harry Potter or Frodo Baggins, that's for sure. Drake's a follower of the Demon God Hagon and worships accordingly: drinking and fornicating. His sister is a temple whore so he gets a good rate. Yes, incest is played for laughs in this story. Not only is Drake a scoundrel, he remains true to his lying cowardly self for the entirety of the book. The lies just keep coming and Drake gets into bigger and bigger trouble.
The Walrus and The Warwolf are the names of two pirate ships and the nicknames of the captains that sail upon them. The captains are well rounded and hilarious. Some of the pirate dialogue was so rough that it almost offended me. You have to love a story where one of the milder insults used by the characters is "octopus rapist." The supporting cast is also full of gems, like King Tor, and Muck, a man who's syphilis caused him to start his own flame-worshipping religion.
The world of TW&TW is one of fantasy and little understood technology of a lost age. While some of it is serious, like teleportation gates and a flying ship, I laughed hard when one of the pirates smashed a Rubik's Cube in disgust.
The story is equal parts pulp fantasy and humor. The tone is full of dry wit and reminds me of Michael Moorcock's Dancers at the End of Time at times, as well as Glorianna, also by the esteemed Mr. Moorcock.
This was the easiest five I ever stuck on a book. If you like fantasy, British humor, pirates, or really offensive language, this is for you. If you don't, buy it anyway. God knows you don't have enough books with the word Walrus in the title...
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