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160 pages, Hardcover
First published January 1, 2022
We were happy too, because we had survived the Forest of Doom.
Now all we had to do was make it over the River of Doom, the Chasm of Doom, and the Mountains of Doom.
"Rats," I said.
"What's wrong?" Belinda asked.
"I was hoping that we'd at least have a brief break before encountering something doom-y," I told her. "Like maybe, the Fields of Joy. Or the Path of Pleasantness. I'd even be all right with a Swamp of Mediocrity."
. . .
"Wait, Your Excellency! There's something suspicious about all of this."
"Suspicious?" Ruprecht repeated mockingly. "Nerlim, stop being such a scaredy-cat. Everything here looks perfectly fine!"
"That's what I'm afraid of," Nerlim said. "This is called the River of Doom. Why would it be called the River of Doom if there wasn't any doom?"
"Maybe it was a marketing thing," Ruprecht said. "Like when the Vikings discovered Iceland and Greenland, and Iceland was nice, while Greenland sucked eggs, but the Vikings didn't want anyone else to know that, so they called the icy island Greenland to trick people into going there and called the green island Iceland so that everyone would avoid it. My uncle, King Snodgrass, did the exact same thing. He discovered a beautiful place to build a kingdom, but he didn't want anyone invading him, so he named it Plague City, and now everyone avoids it like, well, the plague."
"Plague City is actually nice?" Nerlim asked, surprised. "I'd heard that place was a cesspit."
"Exactly!" Ruprecht said. "It's all marketing!"