Jamie's Reviews > Myth Directions

Myth Directions by Robert Lynn Asprin
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's review
Aug 15, 2008

really liked it

One of my most childhood (well, teenagerhood) possessions is a pair of graphic novels based on Robert Asprin's "Myth" series, illustrated by Phil Foglio. I also read most of the books themselves and enjoyed them nearly as much. When I recently decided to re-read the first three books (Another Fine Myth, Myth Conceptions, and Myth Directions) I was surprised to find out how well they held up. They're still really fun!

Now while "fun" isn't the word I'd use to describe most books in the fantasy genre these days, these books certainly are. On the surface they're about a newly master-less magician's apprentice, Skeeve, who is mentored by a demon, Ahz, whose wisdom and experience are only matched by his panache for con jobs and profit. Each book is essentially a caper where Asprin weaves a huge cast of vivid characters into entertaining and often amusing situations. The author has a real gift for plotting to the point where even when the situations are outlandish and complicated, you can trace a clear line of how the characters got into them.

And that's the point at which the real entertainment usually starts --when the characters have to get out of one mess and usually end up in another. What I like about these books is that Skeeve and Ahz and company don't win the day by being the strongest or the most powerful. They win it by using guile, trickery, improvisation, wits, and imagination. It's really satisfying to see these traits win out over seemingly impossible odds, and again Asprin has a gift for making it all believable within his own (admittedly self-created) rule set for the world he's constructed.

It's also worth noting that the books are consistently upbeat and lighthearted, with minimal violence and only mild sexual inuendo. The humor is situational and character driven, but also makes extensive use of puns and pop culture references (though some of those are a bit dated at this point). I'd highly recommend them to people of just about any age. I plan on reading more of the series whenever I want to take a break between other books for something more refreshing and fun.

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