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Review: Villains – K.L. Mitchell

Villains - K. L. Mitchell

Genre: Fantasy

LGBTQ+ Category: Lesbian

Reviewer: Whiskey November

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About The Book

After saving the kingdom, you’d think Revka and her Centaur girlfriend Iyarra would have earned a nice long rest. But when they head down to the Enchanted Forest (the magical land where all stories come from), the place is run down, the natives are surly, and someone is stealing all of the villains. Turns out, that’s a bad thing.

So nothing will do except the girls must run around the forest, hunting up mad scientists, sneaking around underground lairs, and uniting with a group of rogue librarians to get to the bottom of it all. And while they’re at it, they just might be able to take a young hopeful in hand, and teach him what it means to be a hero.

The Review

If you’re in the mood for a queer fantasy picaresque satire, have I got a recommendation for you! Villains is ‘Into the Woods’ in book form, with an intrepid adventurer and her centaur girlfriend as the main characters.

Adventurer Revka and her partner Iyarra have completed a grand quest, and are now wandering in search of the next adventure, or a paying gig, or maybe just a vacation. They decide to visit the Enchanted Forest, and along the way, it becomes clear that various enchantments are somehow being lost. The book episodically follows along as they investigate.

It’s a fast-paced, energetic, and entertaining read. The writing is clever and literate, with quite a few very funny scenes, and a wealth of familiar fairy-tale themes and stories are woven into the fabric. The climax is a dramatic setpiece full of mortal peril, mayhem, and heroism.

My sole caveat with this book is that I did not connect to the characters or events as much as I would have liked; my most sympathetic reaction was to the horrid cave monster whose overdue library book is taken away from him before he can finish reading it.

Still, I enjoyed Villains, and recommend it to fans of fairy-tale retellings, ‘clean’ romances, queer fantasy, and armchair adventures.

The Reviewer

Whiskey is an urban professional with close family & friendship ties to the LGBTQ+ community. She supports the work of GLAAD, Broadway Cares, and the Los Angeles LGBT Center, among others. She reads in excess of 250 books a year (romance, mystery, science fiction, history, and memoir) and is a self-published writer of contemporary and historical romance.

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