Dragons & Unicorns and soon, Goblins!
Book Reviews: Dragon Precinct & Unicorn Precinct by Keith R.A. DeCandido
Dragon Precinct & Unicorn Precinct, published by Dark Quest Books, are the first two books in a series, by Keith R.A. DeCandio, the third of which, Goblin Precinct, is set to come out in the spring.
Set in the city-state Cliff’s End, the books follow two detectives, who strive to solve crime in a city filled with elves, trolls, gnomes, wizards, halflings and other fantasy creatures. A Lord and Lady rule the city, along with a cadre of Nobles that seem destined to get in the way of the bad guys (and the good guys for that matter). The books mix police procedural with fantasy in an entertainingly lighthearted way.
Dragon Precinct, the first book of the series, follows detectives Danthes & Torin as they investigate a string of murders within an adventuring party. To make matters worse, the adventurers are heroes of the realm, and the Lord and Lady want it solved quickly. The book itself isn’t very long, 163 pages, decidedly a quick read. DeCandido doesn’t provide a lot of backstory on the characters in this first book, but it isn’t really necessary. The humor, along with the twists and turns of solving the murders make this a fun read.
I’d recommend this one for folks who like fantasy novels and CSI. It’s great for quick plane trips, or for those who have a couple of hours to kill in a coffee shop.
Unicorn Precinct, the second installment in the series, brings us back to Danthes & Torin. This time they’re out to solve the murder of a young noblewoman about to be married. In this book, DeCandido fleshes out Torin’s backstory for us quite a bit more, and we get to see a different, or at least a milder side of the normally acerbic Danthes.
Reading the two books, one immediately after the other, probably helped my impressions of both. While the stories don’t particularly reference one another, the setting is the same, and the continuity made it feel like one longer book. I would suggest reading them this way, or wait until Goblin Precinct comes out and read all three of them together. I am looking forward re-reading them all once Goblin Precinct comes out.
You can find more of Keith’s work, and his latest projects on his website at http://sff.net/people/krad/ or purchase a copy of Unicorn Precinct on Amazon
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