This is the wonder of Kindle – discovering gems that for some reason slipped under my radar the first time around. And the huge bonus was that this offering is just that – a free Kindle upload, which had me grinning throughout a chilly, rainy train journey to London.
LIVE THE LEGEND! Gloria “Glory” McArdle plays Vixen the Slayer in a straight-to-syndication TV show where even the fans say the villain is the better actress. The wizards of Erchanen have been searching all the worlds to find a hero, and Vixen the Slayer is the last name on their list. The Warmother, imprisoned a thousand years before by Ginnas the Warkiller, has broken free of her ancient chains. If a hero can’t be found somewhere in all the universes to fight for them, the people of Erchanen are toast. But is it Glory they’re looking for… or Vixen
It all seemed to be a perfectly straightforward misunderstanding when Belegir was explaining it in Glory’s dressing room. The reality – if you could call it that – isn’t just fighting for her life. Faced with a challenge like that, what can a girl do but pick up her magic sword and her stuffed elephant and give her trademark battle cry, “Hi-yi-yi-yi! Come, Camrado! Evil wakes!”
There has been a lot of earnest discussion on Fantasy forums recently about female heroines cavorting around in skimpy leather costumes with a lot of attitude and a huge weapon that in reality they probably wouldn’t be able to lift off the ground. Edghill’s take on the whole business back in 2002 pretty much nails all the arguments – in an a sharp, amusing book where her protagonist, an ex-Olympic gymnast, finds herself an overnight star playing in a hugely successful TV show, The Incredibly True Adventures of Vixen the Slayer – think of Princess Xena meeting the first series of Heroes… Nearing the end of a long, gruelling shooting schedule, liberally peppered with wall to wall publicity gigs, Vixen is confronted with three oddly dressed characters in her dressing room, pleading for her help as a hero…
It is a classic and oft-visited Fantasy theme that someone from our world gets mysteriously transported across to another dimension (as reprised in the BBC’s new Saturday night offering Atlantis), normally in a pre-industrial world where horsepower is the norm. So it is here… Edghill plays beautifully with our expectations as Gloria/Vixen finds herself rapidly out of her depth. There are some very funny moments as Gloria finds herself trying to fulfil the brief of visiting heroine, using studio props. Her fight with a monster using the prop sword with a blunt edge had me sniggering aloud – while wincing when another character gets badly mauled in the process, because Edghill also provides us with a cracking adventure story as a bonus.
In addition to the story, we are treated to an article about Vixen the Slayer which will be very familiar to anyone who has read any kind of fanzine, as well an episode synopsis at the back of the book. Overall, this book is a joy and a delightful surprise. Thank you Baen for providing it on Kindle free of charge. Thank you Rosemary Edghill for writing it… And if you enjoy reading Fantasy adventure stories, or watching them on TV, then track down this book. You’ll be really glad you did…