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The Unbeheaded King [Kindle Edition]

L. Sprague de Camp
5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (2 customer reviews)

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Book Description

Never Trust a Demon Three years earlier, Jorian had been the crowned King of Xylar. But the laws of Xylar decreed that each randomly chosen King must be beheaded at the end of a five-year reign. Jorian had a prejudice against losing his head. With the aid of the aged wizard Karadur, he managed to flee. Unfortunately he had not been able to bring his beloved wife, Queen Estrildis, with him, nor had he yet been able to find a means of freeing her from the palace in Xylar City. Now, however, he felt that his luck was about to change. He and the aged wizard Karadur were being flown through the night air in a great copper bathtub, powered by a demon under Karadur's control. Ahead of them lay Xylar City. There, while the demon kept the bathtub hovering above the palace, Jorian could let down a rope and rescue Estrildis. It should have been a foolproof scheme

Product Details

  • File Size: 548 KB
  • Print Length: 180 pages
  • Publisher: Gateway (September 29, 2011)
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B005HRT7DW
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
  • X-Ray:
  • Word Wise: Not Enabled
  • Lending: Not Enabled
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,838,346 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars Highly entertaining and recommended November 15, 2009
The Unbeheaded King is the third and concluding volume in the trilogy titled "The Reluctant King". The other two books are "The Goblin Tower" and "The Clocks of Iraz". There are several characteristics of these books that make them exceptional in the fantasy - adventure genre: humor, dialog and pacing of the narrative.

Fantasy novels tend to be overstuffed with dread, dodgy unknowns and lurking terror. The humorous aside, sarcastic comment or witty stories seem out of place. De Camp's fantasy landscape is no Disneyland. Jorian, the reluctant hero, must contend with a horde of malicious creatures, ineffectual wizards and packs of armed banditos. De Camp's protagonist, Jorian, takes his quest to rescue his wife very seriously but must contend with his gadfly personality and his bungling companions. DeCamp avoids the smirky asides that would detract from the narrative pacing, like a wink to the audience in a horror movie. Instead he lets his hero cajole, tease, trick and bamboozle his compatriots to assist him.

As our story begins Jorian is escaping yet another precarious state of affairs by uses a king's huge copper bathtub as the magical means of transportation. Imagine the looks on the yokel's faces when they see that item flying over their turnip wains! This leads to a digression from the main story as Jorian relates the droll tale as to how the portly king ended up with a metal tub. Note these tall tales, related as history in these books, are as entertaining to read and the straight story line.

The plot is quite simple: Jorian is confronted with numerous obstacles he must overcome as he attempts to spirit he wife from the kingdom he once ruled, and save himself from being beheaded.
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1 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars An excellent conclussion to a good series September 8, 2008
The Unbeheaded King is the last in The Reluctant King Series. Our hero Jorian and Karadur have fled Iraz in a flying bathtub (read The Clocks of Iraz (Volume Two of 'The Reluctant King') to fully understand, otherwise accept that this is fantasy); Jorian is focused on rescuing his wife from the Xylarians (where Jorian was king, you need to read The Goblin Tower: (#1) (Reluctant King, Vol. 1) to fully understand this though). However rather than succeeding like many hero's might have, Jorian and Karadur have to set up in another country and plot the recovery of Estrildis.

My Likes:
My likes are as from The Goblin Tower; the characters, the weaving of the story, and the lay of the land; to put it simply it's the complete package. While Mr. de Camp didn't do as much character development on Jorian or Karadur, the interactions they have with the other characters are so real that you almost feel that you're walking with them. Part of this is shown when rescue attempts go astray, especially when magic is used to rescue Estrildis and instead they get her maid in waiting. The action is continuous, never so fast that you can't follow it, but with very few slow spots.

My Dislikes:
Only one, this book really should have been made into one book with The Clocks of Iraz. Both books are a little on the short side and would have made for a nice big sequel to The Goblin Tower, especially since The Unbeheaded King is really a continuation of The Clocks of Iraz.

My Rating:
Five stars. The ending is good and the book has a little something for everyone.
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