I’ve been a fan of Kroese for a few years now, mostly having read his Starship Grifters books. In those, his strong writing ability is able to carry the story while overcoming my usual hatred of spoofy comedy writing, which often plunges into the realms of twee.
The Counterfeit Sorcerer series is a bit more serious and less silly in tone, but Kroese’s writing style makes it a fun an entertaining read. While it lacks whimsy and eloquence of Jack Vance, it has a charming wry humor and sense of irony throughout that belies the tragedy the hero is endlessly confronted with.
Counterfeit Sorcerer is very much a serial, and The Brand of the Warlock is very much a first chapter; it’s very much akin to Nine Princes in Amber in this regard–the first book simply sets up further books, abruptly ending and on a somewhat grim note. It does not satisfactorily stand on its own in the way that the Starship Grifters books do, but the ride is an enjoyable one, and having pre-ordered the entire series, I plan on seeing them through to the end.
Do you dig fantasy adventure? Or stories like the ones Rob Kroese writes? We don’t have any Rob Kroese stories, but since a)we enjoy Rob Kroese stories and b)we publish stories we enjoy, you might enjoy the stories in our magazine if you enjoy Rob Kroese! Our Fall issue is out now!