Sir Apropros of Nothing
Pocket Books, July, 2001.
Hardcover, 503 pages.
New York Times bestselling author Peter David takes aim at the traditional fantasy hero's quest in Sir Apropos of Nothing. Apropos was the result of his mother's rape by a group of so-called noble knights. As a result, she ended up turning to prostitution to support her and her young son. Lame in one leg, but with a fast wit, Apropos grows up learning to deal with his disability and with a profound hatred for knights and their so-called honor. When his mother is murdered, Apropos sets out to find the killer, find his father to take his revenge upon him, and make his fortune. He ends up at the court of King Runcible, and is taken on as a squire by the oldest and seemingly most incompetent knight of them all: Sir Umbrage of the Flaming Nether Regions. When he and Sir Umbrage are assigned the task of escorting the Crown Princess Entipe back to court from the nunnery where she has been staying, Apropos knows he's in trouble. Soon Apropos and the attractive, yet thoroughly obnoxious, Entipe are on the run from a mad phoenix, furious unicorns and the numerous others who would be only too happy to kill or enslave them. Will Apropos save the day and become what he despises most: an actual hero?
Sir Apropos of Nothing is a picaresque tale which is full of adventure, noble deeds, all told in first person by Apropos himself. The book is darkly funny, as Peter David turns every fantasy convention upside down and inside out. Our hero is cynical and self-interested (yet usually does the right thing -- with one terrible exception), the princess seems to have a bent for arson, and the mythological creatures seem positively homicidal. Readers who are looking for a traditional fantasy should look elsewhere. But readers who enjoy great writing, a wicked sense of humor and vivid characters will find this to be one of the most refreshing and interesting books they've read in a long while.
Sir Apropros of Nothing is available for purchase on Amazon.com
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This review was published in the August, 2001 of The Internet Writing Journal.
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