Genre/Tags: Humorous Fantasy Gay Romance

Author: Lisa Henry & Sarah Honey

Story Rating: 5 Stars

Narrator: Nick J Russo

Narrator Rating: 5 Stars

Audiobook Buy Links: Red Heir Audible. Elf Defence Audible. Socially Orward Audible. 

I know this series has been out for a while and there are a ton of reviews, this one isn’t especially needed, but this review is actually for me. I want it on here for posterity’s sake because I loved this series.  At a time in my life when things got really basic, this series appealed to my crazy side and just picked me up and gave me some of my mojo back. That the characters were all there for each other in their own ways was also awesome and happy. Nick J Russo makes it extra special. What a voice talent he is.

Red Heir:

Let me start by saying that Nick J Russo narrates the hell out of this series!! There are multi-characters that have definite voices in each one, starting with in Red Heir, and Russo gave them all a strong voice. He made this fun book even more entertaining. The way he emphasised words or phrases, his comedic timing, it was plain fun and joyous and also endearing. Dave the orc and his dragon Py, sorry if I spelt it wrong, I could only go off the pronunciation, were a bundle of something I don’t quite know how to describe. And venenenomous = funny. The way Lord Doom kicked off made me burst into fits of laughter in the middle of the night. Loth and Grub/Quin are the MCs in this fabulous ensemble tale. I liked them so much, even when Loth was being… Lothlike. The horse fucker jokes were bloody funny! Sorry, Grub/Quin.

Henry and Honey hit a sweet spot for me when they work together. Their Bad Boyfriends, Inc series is a favourite.  If you like fantasy that isn’t trying too hard, it’s all about having happiness and absurdity. Something that transports you into a joyous and romantic place where anything is possible and a ragtag group become a team and friends, this book (and series) is a true gem.

Elf Defence:

What an absolute peyote, purple haze inspired trip Elf Defence was, including the Clap Trap family in their cabbage rose curtain kilts, trying to solve a problem like Maria, singing about gendered deer, in an alpine region suspiciously like Austria. Collectivist anarchist elves, Calarian and Benji – Calarian loves playing Houses and Humans so a quest is his bag, and Benji likes to add to his anarchist manifesto – death to kings! – even though he’s in the employ of two of those – are sent to Tournel to solve the duchy’s mountain troll issue. Dave the orc and his lute join the Clap Trap family for a while when they’re all in the alps of Tournel looking for a monster. I mean, why not?

Oh, and about our two leads, they’re elves with strong cluster traits of narcissism who get to hang onto and climb each other then decide a third might be nice to climb. The third happens to be a hunky cowherd named Lars who they substitute for the duke they kinda, sorta helped plunge to his death. The elves love to dick things, to eat gingerbread, eat dick-shaped bread (on Fridays), and dick some more. They even have a soft spot for a cow with a dick shaped marking. The fabulously named sex positions continue – the Dirty Alchemist, the Reverse Paladin, the Reverse Double Paladin, the Slippery Friar, and more I’m forgetting. Hello, Dutch Rudder! What’s not to love?! I’ve probably missed something, but who cares?! I loved this addition to the series.

Socially Orcward:

I’ve written two reviews of this on Audible and they refuse to put them up – fuck you very much, Audible!!

This was totally adorable. A complete delight. Henry and Honey must have had one too many coffees one day and said, ‘you know what sounds like a totally great combo? A 7’ green orc, complete with tusks, who doesn’t mind bopping a few heads together when it’s deserved, and a quiet, shy, average sized human working in the kitchens at Calliare castle. (I’ve never seen Calliare in print so I’m guessing at the spelling.) Yaasss, that sounds amazing. Let’s do it!’ And they were absolutely right.

This story is the fantasy edition of diverse. It’s not only interspecies – orc and human – but it gives us two asexual characters who click over their shared love of dragons, their uncomplicated outlook on life and love, and the fact that neither gets all the fuss about squidgy sounding face-sucking noises or sex.

I loved being with Py and Bobo and Inky and Petal, the baby dragons, eating their potato peels or carrot tops and getting in Dave’s lap… or trilling, chirping, purring, Py flitting around Simon, using his little feet to dig in or hang on. Millie was also sweet and fun and added extra dimension. But my heart also hurt on behalf of Simon, what a pickle to be in. Not to fear, Dave is here!! And his… hero??? side-kicker, Scott. I enjoyed Scott’s understanding that hero’ing is harder than acting, and acting’s hard enough for him. His heart’s in the right place. Just like this delightful story. Socially Orcward is all ticker… and egg and spinach… and under a dress. Just go with it. *Happy sigh