Ace, Sept 2004, 6.99, 256 pp.
The Prince of Rassendas, Kevin Timberline is in the kingdom of Deserae to spy for his countrymen and to find a way to persuade Princess Becky's father to allow him to marry his daughter. They are both in love but the survival of the Kingdom takes precedence over true love and it is Prince Logan who is picked to head the armies to fight and defeat Lord Voltmeter whose Fortress of Doom lies in the town of Angst. The king of Deserae is warned because Voltmeter stole Artifact Model Seven which when combined with the Diabolic Device becomes a weapon of mass destruction.
Prince Kevin is determined to marry his true love and sneaks out of the palace and goes to the Fortress of Doom posing as a ventilation shaft cleaner. Princess Becky follows him to act as his comic sidekick, but she ends up in the dungeon needing him to free her while he also must find the artifact before his rival arrives to claim it and Becky but first they must find away of neutralizing Voltmeter.
This is an excellent tongue in cheek parody fantasy that pokes fun at all the elements of a sword and sorcery novel. The humorous HEROES FOR BEGINNERS takes sly shots at archetypical heroes of the genre and fans will appreciate how the laughs do not detract from the seriousness of the storyline and will find they want to read more books by John Moore, an author mythically reminiscent of Robert Asprin.
This report prepared by Harriet Klausner