A Blue Frog Occasion by Robert D Rose

Immortals, frog-based magic, and plenty of fun in this satisfyingly complex fantasy.

If you like the kind of fantasy that makes you think, you’ll like this. It’s rather confusing (and sometimes confused), but always interesting and doesn’t take itself too seriously. The world and magic system are original and the plot is hugely complicated. So many plot questions are raised that at the end, I was pretty sure some of them are never answered but didn’t care too much.

The story centres on Vorin, an immortal magic-user. He has the bad habit of making promises which he’s obliged to keep forever, for some reason. Over time, the various promises he’s made in the distant past have made his life increasingly complicated and difficult. Many of those promises relate to other immortals, who time hasn’t made any wiser, just more paranoid. When something goes wrong with the whole immortality/magic thing, he promises to figure out why, only to get dragged into an increasingly complex tangle of unrelated problems.

The writing is very readable and well edited throughout. A large number of characters and the drip-feed of complicated back-story makes it darn confusing at times, but figuring it all out is fun. There’s humour, inventive world-building and lots of magic. And how often do you see a frog-based magic system?

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