Apologies again for the delay, still working through some personal issues that I’m hoping can get on top of soon. And given the increased likelihood that more of us need to self-isolate in the coming weeks, what better opportunity to read more?
With regards to my latest book, I wasn’t sure how I’d find this, given that it looked to be aimed at a slightly younger audience than I was accustomed to, but given the generally high quality that I’ve gotten from my indie fantasy I was more than happy to see where it would go.
The Many Adventures of Peter and Fi: Homecoming follows the eponymous Peter, a magic user known as the Bubble Mage, and Fi, an illegal chimera, as they travel across several magic kingdoms in order to get Fi back home. On the way, they will have to deal with dangerous beasts, the fickle whims of nobility, and the daunting nature of their ultimate goals.
So we’ll start with the good parts, first of which are Peter and Fi themselves. Peter is a mage who appears to have a real talent for pissing off the people he works with, despite having the seemingly weak power of creating and manipulating bubbles. As such, he’s cunning and creative in order to get the absolute maximum out of his power set, which is a lot of fun. To contrast Peter’s caution, you also have Fi, who is by far the most entertaining of the cast. Combining cuteness with an aggressive streak a mile wide, she is the kind of chaotic live-wire that adds a much needed kick. Their personalities are just opposed enough that it adds complication without making their relationship non-stop fights.
The second thing that I really liked was what I saw of the worldbuilding. It was unusual enough that it stood out from a lot of traditional fantasy, but not so unusual thing that it required extensive infodumps to explain an element that may never come up again. For the most part, the explanations that were included were succinct summations of political situations and individual mages’ power sets. I especially liked the magic system, which appears to be more like divinely-appointed mutations than anything that can be taught. Volume I focused primarily on Peter’s power set, but I hope to see some other mages in more detail if the series is continued.
There was one thing that I wasn’t quite sure about, and that was that I’m still not sure which audience this was aimed at. So initially I assumed that The Many Adventures of Peter and Fi was aimed at a pre-teen audience given the kind of language used and the overall tone that it seemed to be going for in the early chapters. And then a man’s face was melted off in fairly graphic detail, which I feel might be a bit much for pre-teens. The problem is that similarly graphic and violent moments continue to pop up throughout the book, but the language never seems to change to suit an older audience. It felt off to say the least.
The Many Adventures of Peter and Fi, Volume I: Homecoming is an entertaining fantasy novel with a really interesting magic system that I would really like to see more of. The only real issue that I had with it was an uncertainty about what age group it was meant to be aimed at, given the largely pre-teen feel to the language versus the scenes of graphic violence. 3.5/5
Next review: Hogfather by Terry Pratchett