My rating: 5 of 5 stars
I bought this book from the author at a Deep Dish reading here in Chicago (http://speculativeliterature.org/prog…). The section he read sounded funny, and there’s never enough humorous speculative fiction, so I started this book with high hopes.
In fact, the book turned out to be genuinely funny high fantasy. It’s more a collection of short stories than a novel, although the stories are linked by overarching circumstances. A human veterinarian, Dr. James DeGrande, lives in the realm of an evil Dark Lord, and he treats dragons, vampires, dire-wolves, minotaurs, and the like. The problems, however, more often result from the owners, not the patients, although invisible animals do pose unique difficulties. Orcs, vampires, beast masters, and wizards come to him with some sort of failed plot or misdeed that has caused medical problems for their pets. The treatments quickly become complicated in ridiculous ways that might cost James his life.
Throughout it all, James maintains a wry detachment. If you like Murderbot, you might like this. It’s a bit lighter and obviously fantasy rather than science fiction, but the humor touches some of the same notes.