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The Rover

(The Rover #1)

3.83  ·  Rating details ·  481 ratings  ·  57 reviews
Edgewick Lamplighter (Wick to his friends) is a humble librarian in the isolated halls of Greydawn Moors until dreams of wanderlust and a bit of dereliction in his duties result in his being shanghaied to a far-off land.

Captured by pirates, sold into slavery, and adopted by a gang of thieves, Wick soon finds himself with more adventures than even a halfling librarian can i
Paperback, 512 pages
Published September 16th 2002 by Tor Fantasy (first published 2001)
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3.83  · 
Rating details
 ·  481 ratings  ·  57 reviews

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Apr 13, 2008 rated it really liked it
Shelves: adult, fantasy
This story is full of the ridiculous (the sort-of sea serpent, the shape-changing mouse, Wick trying to save Comber's life several times, dropping the object of extortion at just the wrong moment, the man in black ("Right about now, you're probably thinking of me as the man in black. I don't like that. Call me Brant."), the pirate ship named after the two-eyed original owner...), the sad (the slaves, the burning Embyr who couldn't remember her name, poor Wick in many instances, the pirates for r ...more
Feb 03, 2015 rated it liked it
This book gets a solid "meh." I read it lightly here and there until it was finally finished. As my mom likes to say, "oooo, it's a fun book!" I would have to agree. It is The Mummy of the literary fantasy world. It's entertaining, even when you want to smack that goofy smile off Brendan Fraiser.

I had two specific gripes. 1) Sometimes the writing seemed unnatural, like the author was trying too hard. 2) I hated reading "the little librarian" over and over again. Seriously. Dude. What about "litt
Oct 20, 2008 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: fantasy, ya
Ahhh, The Rover has all the stuff good fantasy is made of: thieves, pirates, dragons and... librarians? Actually, the main character, a halfer named Wick, happens to be a Third Level Librarian in the Vault of All Known Knowledge. The knowledge he's been able to acquire before being shanghaied really does help him out on his adventures with unsavory characters in the lands beyond his home in the Greydawn Moors, and his adventures help him to be a better librarian.
Sep 06, 2013 rated it liked it
I picked this book up from the library on a whim because it looked like a nice lighthearted fantasy book. It turns out that it was a nice lighthearted fantasy book. At first I was concerned that it was just another Tolkien ripoff with "dwellers" used in the place of "hobbits". After reading the book, though, I see that it wasn't just a pure ripoff. There were some similarities but nothing more than comes with the fantasy genre.

The book was a bit more juvenile than I was expecting (it wasn't in t
Jeremy S.
Apr 08, 2011 rated it liked it
Shelves: fantasy
I read a lot of negative reviews, but I really thought this book was charming.

It's been tagged as a generic rip-off of Tolkien-esque fare, but I think it actually delivers on what readers enjoyed in works by fantasy authors like Tolkien.

It's a terrific niche too. The main character is a librarian who loves books and gets swept up in an adventure. I really wish Mel Odom would have kept writing this series.
THERE’S A LIBRARIAN IN THIS BOOK! I’m so excited. Odom combines two of my favorite things: libraries and fantasy books. That said, my mind tended to wander during some parts of the book, necessitating frantic page flipping to see what I’d missed the first time around. There’s also a lot of story telling in this book that, while fascinating to a point, gets rather monotonous. I found myself skimming a lot of the descriptions and stories to keep the plot moving right along.
Aug 12, 2009 rated it really liked it
A lot of similarities to Tolkein's 'The Hobbit' but I think that Odom generates more empathy with his characters. Definitely not dry. A fun read either on it's own, or as a precursor to the sucessor books.
Julie Akeman
Dec 26, 2017 rated it it was amazing
I have read this years ago. I remember that this writer worked for Wizards of the Coast, cool because I used to drive by there when I lived in Seattle and Magic the Gathering was big then..I kinda suck at the game but it was cool though. I LOVED The Rover, I read it years ago, sometime when my oldest was about three or four, he's almost 16 now. If you have a love for Hobbits this guy was a perfect new Hobbit like character. A little one forced into an adventure and he's a librarian, I work as a ...more
Jun 13, 2017 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Over all, I wasn't impressed. Wick was ridiculously repetitive. (How many times did he have to tell himself that he was a 3rd Level Librarian in the Vault of All Knowledge? At least a dozen times to many.....) None of the characters ever became believable for me. And the action was too forced, then too easily over-come, to ever keep my interest. I won't be picking up another in this series. As it was, a book that should've taken me only a couple days to read took me over a week because I just co ...more
Lincoln Wert
Dec 02, 2017 rated it really liked it
Shelves: fantasy
This was an enjoyable light fantasy, although the cover has absolutely nothing to do with the story.
Savannah B
Jul 10, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
One of my favorite childhood stories! And an adult, its still a favorite!
Jun 26, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Not as action filled as Odom's Apocalypse series. Starts out slowly but gets intriguing quickly. Worth continuing the series.
A.M. Reynwood
Jan 23, 2016 rated it really liked it
I found this little beauty at a second hand store and thought I'd give it a try. It looked fun, wrapped up in a neat little stand alone novel. Only after reading the last page and prepping for this review did I learn that this was the first in a series, but that just goes to show how well this part of the story wrapped up in the end, and I really enjoyed that. Yes, there are a couple unanswered questions that leave an opening for the following books, but for the most part it was a nice, all in o ...more
Mar 07, 2014 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: favourites
A half-ling librarian who loves fiction books and is so curious he ends up on amazing adventures?


I am completely in love with this book! I enjoyed every minute.

Though, sadly I would only give this book a 4.5

[Spoilers following]




The reason for losing the half-point for me were the details beginning around page 380 where the book became - almost exactly - like the Hobbit. The large, man-eating spider, traveling through tunnels in the mountains, finding the dragon's lair of treasure
May 21, 2014 rated it really liked it
Recommended to Daleb. by: Just looking for another book by Mel Odom and saw the cover and it looked good
Wed. May 21st, 2014
I've been reading on this one for about two weeks...I hate Not having a valid library card grrrrrr! A few chapters at a time while I'm At the library.
I found it to be an enjoyable lighthearted read and romp through another fantasy setting...I wonder if there is a sequel??? I would really like to learn more about this place Mr. Odom has created.
Not enough detail about Elves in this story although it tells much about the human and dwarven folk and of course the Dwellers (Halfers
Kristy McRae
Oct 15, 2013 rated it did not like it
Shelves: abandoned
I absolutely hate giving up on a book. Yes, a part of me says, "Life's too short for bad or boring books..." but I still feel like it's a personal failure when I abandon one. That being said, I just couldn't make myself slog any further through this book. First: WAY too many similarities to some VERY familiar characters/settings from a slightly famous guy by the name of Tolkien.... Second: I just couldn't seem to bring myself to care what happened to Wick, the main character. At the very beginni ...more
Jun 07, 2014 rated it it was amazing
I came into this novel having done no research and having bought the book at a garage sale. My expectations were low, but this book truly surprised me. Although the book was 500 pages it was still a quick read because of the authors writing style. The 2 cons that I can really think of for this book are the seemingly rushed ending (I understand that it is a series so the ending doesn't have to close off all the loose ends) and the page long descriptions that the author included that I ended up sk ...more
Nov 25, 2008 rated it really liked it
This is a light-hearted, sword and sorcery fantasy; a clear clone of Tolkien's "Ring" series. I mean that in a good way. I devoured books like this as a pre-teen. Not too deep... the smallest people can be the biggest heroes... I suppose that's the deepest message you'll get out of it.

It's the story of Wick, a (hobbit) librarian who is shanghaied by pirates (with hearts of gold), sold as a slave, runs with a band of thieves (with hearts of gold) and eventually returns to his old life... leaving
Went into this fully expecting it to be so bad it's good. Halfling librarians! The awful cover design!

It is pretty bad. Could it be more "Generic Fantasy"? Let's pretend there's world building. How many characters are in this pirate ship/slave hold/band of thieves again? The writing itself is pretty poor too, with using words incorrectly, the phrase "the little librarian" appearing at least three times a page and plot points that are undeveloped or dropped along the way.

Yet it was still enjoya
Oct 24, 2009 rated it really liked it
Recommends it for: Anyone
Go librarians!

Yes, this is a fantasy novel, with a quest at its heart, and populated by all manner of endearing rogues, but it is well written and fun to read. Not every author pulls of the heroic tale using a very unsuitable protagonist. Tolkien did it as well as anyone in "The Hobbit". Now, this and many other deserving books do not come close to the wealth of "backstory" that JRR created, but this has good characterizations, plot, and sufficient details to make one keep reading.

Besides, a boo
Mar 28, 2008 rated it really liked it
Shelves: fantasy, read-in-2008
The Rover was one of those rare finds at a library. I was browsing the bookshelf and came upon it. I was not let down by it.

I loved that Wick is so curious and into everything. There's a lot of action in the book, and story lines aren't drawn out. It seems something new is being thrown at you every time. Everything was tied up nicely till the end. Where it left you going into the second book.

I was unaware that this was a trilogy so that had me a little disappointed that it wasn't a stand alone
May 16, 2015 rated it really liked it
This book is definitely fits the standard fantasy genre. I like the idea of an innocent librarian going on these adventures above his station. It does hit the generic fantasy points (dwarves, elves, dragons and wizards.)

I still don't understand why it is called the Rover and it really bugs me that the cover is a Brothers Hildebrant from the LoTR.

Got very tired of reading the phrase "the little librarian." Use another title for him.

I will be reading the rest of this series. I do have high hope
Dec 07, 2008 rated it liked it
Shelves: scifi-fantasy
I probably would have given it 3.5 stars if I could have. This was a fun little fantasy book about an ordinary little librarian who gets to live all the stories he's been so fond of reading. Going from librarian, to pirate, to slave, to thief his adventures never get boring. Recommended to the fantasy lover.
Claire-Michelle Mann
Jan 27, 2016 rated it it was amazing
if you like lord of the rings you will like this.
its got elves, hobbits , humans and a dragon and pirates.
its a little easier to read than lord of the rings. but really good.
although got similar things to lotr, its not in anyway trying to copy.
the elves have their own city, slaves, a hobbit who loves books ( not sure if they are called hobbits though in this.)
Oct 19, 2011 rated it liked it
The writing could be a little better, but overall a fun story and the main character is a librarian, who gets to have an adventure just like the ones he reads about in his library. I'd like to hear more about a certain grave and its contents, but maybe the 2nd book will provide a little backstory on that.
Jul 30, 2012 rated it it was amazing
Edgewick Lamplighter (Wick) is a librarian at the Vault of Knowledge on a secluded island. Thanks to his 'halfer' curiosity, he ends up on a pirate ship, sold into slavery, and even ends up with a band of thieves, utilizing his ability to read and write in unexpected ways. This is a great fantasy adventure novel that shows even the smallest of us can do great things.
Dec 02, 2012 rated it liked it
Shelves: af-fantasy
I agree with some of the other goodreads reviewers: this author seems to have borrowed quite a bit from Tolkien. It is a good adventure story, and being a librarian, I liked the fact that the main hobbit-like character was a librarian, although he had leanings towards being a historian as well (not all librarians are historians). Bottom line, an enjoyable fantasy.
Chad Hoblitz
Nov 10, 2013 rated it really liked it
Shelves: fantasy
Although making your own small race is somewhat a cliche Mel created a different one that keeps your interest. The likableness of Edgewick (Wick) Lamplighter is what I look for in a series. The best thing is how the character grows as the story moves along in a high adventure pace.
Shawn Thrasher
Oct 22, 2013 rated it really liked it
A total Tolkien knock off - but Wick is a librarian, so I must like it. The Hobbit and Willow had a baby. Funny and good.
Nov 02, 2013 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
A great, lighthearted story that kept me turning pages all night! While parts reminded me of The Lord of the Rings, it really was very much its own story. Well-written and captivating! A great read for any sword-wielder and dragon believer, a pretty simple read.
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Librarian Note: There is more than one author in the Goodreads database with this name.

aka Jordan Gray

Mel Odom is a bestselling writer for hire for Wizards of the Coast's Forgotten Realms, Gold Eagle's Mack Bolan, and Pocket's Buffy the Vampire Slayer and Angel book lines. His debut SF novel Lethal Interface made the Locus recommended list . The Rover was an Alyx Award winner. He has also written

Other books in the series

The Rover (4 books)
  • The Destruction of the Books (The Rover #2)
  • Lord of the Libraries (The Rover, #3)
  • The Quest for the Trilogy: A Rover Novel of Three Adventures (The Rover, #4)