In the Company of Ogres: Funny with an actual story

fantasy book reviews science fiction book reviewsfantasy book review A. Lee Martinez In the Company of Ogresfantasy and science fiction book reviewsIn the Company of Ogres by A. Lee Martinez

When I read fantasy comedy, I compare it to Terry Pratchett. In many ways, In the Company of Ogres resembles many of Pratchett’s Discworld novels in the sense that a) it actually is quite funny and b) it makes fun of existing fantasy tropes and elements.

A. Lee Martinez, however, has his own distinguishable style which is evident in In the Company of Ogres. His writing style is quite functional and isn’t weighed down with flowery prose or detailed descriptions. In fact, perhaps some would say it can be too sparse at times and relies on the reader’s familiarity with fantasy clichés.

As for the plot, I was impressed that Martinez manages to successfully juggle three antagonists. And, despite the impression that it’s a funny novel, In the Company of Ogres can get dark at times. The moments when the characters are serious are truly dramatic and Martinez is careful about not spoiling the scene by randomly throwing in a satiric episode.

Overall In the Company of Ogres is an enjoyable read full of action and character growth. If you’re looking for something to tickle your funny bone that has an actual story, you might want to check out In the Company of Ogres.

In the Company of Ogres — (2006) Publisher: An uproarious new novel in the tradition of Robert Asprin and Terry Pratchett! For someone who’s immortal, Never Dead Ned manages to die with alarming frequency — he just has the annoying habit of rising from the grave. But this soldier might be better dead than face his latest assignment. Ogre Company is the legion’s dumping ground — a motley, undisciplined group of monsters whose leaders tend to die under somewhat questionable circumstances. That’s where Ned’s rather unique talents come in. As Ogre Company’s newly appointed commander, Ned finds himself in charge of such fine examples of military prowess as a moonstruck Amazon, a very big (and very polite) two-headed ogre, a seductively scaly siren, a blind oracle who can hear (and smell) the future, a suicidal goblin daredevil pilot, a walking tree with a chip on its shoulder, and a suspiciously goblinesque orc. Ned has only six months to whip the Ogre Company into shape or face an even more hideous assignment, but that’s not the worst of his problems. Because now that Ned has found out why he keeps returning from dead, he has to do everything he can to stay alive… In the Company of Ogres does for fantasy, what A. Lee Martinez’s previous novel, Gil’s All Fright Diner, did for horror — and elves and goblins may never be the same!

FanLit thanks Charles Tan of Bibliophile Stalker for contributing this guest review.

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CHARLES TAN, one of our guest reviewers, is the owner of the blogs Bibliophile Stalker and Comic Quest. He also edits Philippine Speculative Fiction. You can read his fiction in that publication and in The Digest of Philippine Genre Stories. Charles has conducted interviews for The Nebula Awards and The Shirley Jackson Awards, as well as for online magazines such as SF Crowsnest and SFScope. He is a regular contributor to sites like SFF Audio and Comics Village.

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