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43 Reviews
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A fresh and humorous take on Fantasy Adventures
Over the years I’ve read lots of quest fantasy books, all trying to tap into the energy of “The Lord of the Rings.” Thankfully, “The Dragon Ruby” - while also a quest novel - has no interest in following Tolkien’s lead. Instead it blazes its own trail, using fantasy tropes (magic gems, elves, thieves, bards, trolls, goblins, wizards,...
Published 10 months ago by Chuck Minsker

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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Well, it's different.
One of the first things I noticed about this book is that the authors generally shun fantasy genre conventions in the vocabulary they use. Two of the main characters are named "Bob" and "Neil," and even deities and other supernatural creatures are more likely to be named "Jeff" or "Helen" than anything sounding fantastic. It gave me a chuckle when I first saw it, but...
Published on July 15, 2011 by Mark


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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Well, it's different., July 15, 2011
By 
Mark (AUSTIN, TX, United States) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: The Dragon Ruby (Paperback)
One of the first things I noticed about this book is that the authors generally shun fantasy genre conventions in the vocabulary they use. Two of the main characters are named "Bob" and "Neil," and even deities and other supernatural creatures are more likely to be named "Jeff" or "Helen" than anything sounding fantastic. It gave me a chuckle when I first saw it, but for me it got old. There's no reason not to give characters commonplace names except convention, but it just wasn't to my taste for a full-length book.

Additionally, the authors frequently employ a sort of quirky humor that reminded me of the "Hitchhiker's Guide" books at times. It fell short, in my opinion, but they tried. One (overused) joke I rolled my eyes at was based on Bob's and Neil's mounts: donkeys. As best I can tell their primary purpose was to provide material for "my ass" jokes. Most of the humor isn't as sophmoric as that, though. The book is clearly intended to be a lighthearted approach to fantasy.

The characters and dialogue were average. I didn't hate any characters, but I didn't grow too attached to anyone, either.

If this book has a major weakness, I'd say it's the first third or so. A lot of history gets told that just isn't very interesting at the time. For example, some of the main characters get paragraphs of backstory at the beginning of the book.

The strongest point of "The Dragon Ruby" is the story itself. It has a lot of twists and turns, and a number of apparently unrelated plot points end up connecting. I didn't always like the way some of the plot twists were executed (very deus ex machina at times) but at least the authors seem self-aware enough to poke fun at some of the more ridiculous occurences.

Partway through the book I probably would have only rated this book two stars. It does pick up, though, and I started to enjoy it more as I became more invested in the story and the characters.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A fresh and humorous take on Fantasy Adventures, February 17, 2014
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This review is from: The Dragon Ruby (Paperback)
Over the years I’ve read lots of quest fantasy books, all trying to tap into the energy of “The Lord of the Rings.” Thankfully, “The Dragon Ruby” - while also a quest novel - has no interest in following Tolkien’s lead. Instead it blazes its own trail, using fantasy tropes (magic gems, elves, thieves, bards, trolls, goblins, wizards, knights, pirates, giants, magic swords, demons and dragons, to name a few) to build a funny story about an evil wizard and his attempts to recover a stolen gem of power. A rag-tag group of characters find themselves trying to steal the gem, then trying to recover it, all while going through a variety of adventures (and misadventures), romantic entanglements, deadly battles, encounters with thieves, dragons and treacherous allies. There’s a wonderful streak of humor running through the novel, with some Monty Python elements rising to the surface. It’s a fun, fresh take on a well-worn idea, and it takes it in new, unexpected directions. If HBO is looking for counter-programming for “Game of Thrones,” this might be just the ticket. Highly recommended!
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62 of 98 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Pay no attention to either the 5 or 1 star reviews., May 20, 2011
This review is from: The Dragon Ruby (Paperback)
Most of the views on here are from people who haven't read the book. They are either personal detractors or supporters of the author. The book is a typical middle of the road completely average read. It's not great, but it's not awful either. If you have nothing else on your reading list my suggestion is to flip a coin and if it lands on heads, buy it.
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16 of 28 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Wanted to see what all the hype was, May 24, 2011
This review is from: The Dragon Ruby (Paperback)
Well apparently this book is now part of a war with a videogame Conduit 2. Decided to try both and decide for myself. Still haven't played Conduit 2, and probably won't at this point (although I enjoyed the first), but I picked this up at Barnes last night. Well... it's indeed crap. The author really tries to be funny, but comes out as a complete douche. You don't come around caring about any of the characters, and the plot is written like a high-school project. Give it a pass.
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5 of 10 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Not worth the purchase, May 24, 2011
This review is from: The Dragon Ruby (Paperback)
The plot is pretty bland, predictable, and seems like the author took scenarios from other books like those of Dragonlance novels and slightly changed them to make it his own. I would highly recommend Dragon Lance novels or other epic fantasy novels that have deep plots, great humor (this book's humor may be fine for someone 12 years old and younger), and better writing style (not elegant, doesn't draw you in with words).
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3 of 8 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars A review, February 27, 2012
This review is from: The Dragon Ruby (Paperback)
I read this book hoping to find it interesting, but I believe it may just be the most trashiest piece of crap that I have ever read.
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2 of 7 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Fantasy for newbies, May 30, 2011
This review is from: The Dragon Ruby (Paperback)
Overall, I think the Plott boring and mediocre writing. I mean I've read worse books, but overall I felt that reading this story was just a waste of time.

Who is expensive but at the slight fantasy will like to see this story. However, everything seems wooden and as I said rather boring. Innovative or new ideas are rarely offered. This one has everything a hundred times more comfortable with and most importantly: (
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2 of 7 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Terrible, October 22, 2011
This review is from: The Dragon Ruby (Paperback)
This is worse than Conduit 2. I cannot understand why anyone would want to read this. The story in Perfect Dark for the Nintendo 64 is better than this novel. Terrible.
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35 of 67 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Entertaining, December 6, 2008
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This review is from: The Dragon Ruby (Paperback)
A great twist on the traditional fantasy novel, filled with word play, witticisms and puns (some good, some not so good), the Dragon Ruby provides a little of everything, gods and goddesses intervening in the lives of mortal men, swordsmen, pirates, thieves, dragons, bloodthirsty rabbits, romance and thievery. It may not win the Nobel Prize in Literature, but it is definitely worth the read!
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35 of 68 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Fantastic read, March 27, 2009
This review is from: The Dragon Ruby (Paperback)
Here is a story that doesn't take itself too seriously, but has every right to. This was a fantastic read that made me literally laugh out loud over and over. The story was gripping, and it was hard not to get attached to the characters and their plights. It's very rare to find a book that can blend all of these things together. I thought the presentation was innovative and offered styles not seen in other novels. As a read that typically skims over finer details I found myself painting the entire picture in my head. I highly recommend this novel.

Tim Murray
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The Dragon Ruby
The Dragon Ruby by T. Michael Murdock (Paperback - August 21, 2008)
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