Monday, May 12, 2014

The Rat Queens RULE!


Disclaimer: I was given a free copy of this book in exchange for an honest review. 

I was rolling in nostalgia while reading Rat Queens. It reminds me of all the fun I used to have playing table top D&D campaigns with other women. It especially displays the diversity of female characters that can be found in “non-traditional” fantasy, aka boys club classics. While you don’t need to be a fan of D&D or fantasy to enjoy the humor and art, but it certain doesn’t hurt.

Rat Queens is an action packed, fun ride. It's brimming with sarcastic, raunchy humor and places women front and center. The story revolves around a group of female mercenaries of various species and cultural backgrounds. They’re not just adventuring companions, but they’re friends. Betty, Hannah, Dee and Violet are individual and distinct with their own subplots and hopefully future character arcs coming in future issues. 

Betty is the “Hippy Smidgen Thief.” She also appears to be gay and a magnet for trouble. I adore Betty, both for her playful, stoner attitude, and her very earnest heart. Hannah is a “Rockabilly Elven Mage” with her own magical communicator stone, that looks and acts a lot like a cellphone and involves a hilarious “call” from her mother that had me rolling with laughter. She’s got a complicated relationships with Sawyer, the mysterious captain of the town guard. He’s also a black and sexy as hell. They have great snarky banter back and forth, with a strong undercurrent of sincerity that really shows that they care about each other. 

Then there’s Violet the “Hipster Dwarven Fighter,” who has rebelled against Dwarven traditions and that choice is about has come back to bite her in the butt. I can’t go too much into why I like Violet without spoiling stuff, but I’ll just say that if you like female dwarves in Tolkien’s world you’re going to find Violet’s story very interesting. Last, but certainly not least, there is Dee, the “Atheist Human Cleric” who is also black. Dee was raised in a very “interesting” religion. She began to question the faith of her family and left, or at least she thinks she has. 

Sass and Sorcery is a collection of issues 1 through 5, and it’s a great way to kick off this series. I found myself laughing out loud, and falling head over heels for each one of these characters, and the supporting cast. The world both feels familiar, but is new and original. I can’t wait to read more.

I would caution readers who are sensitive to graphic violence. These ladies are fighters and things can get really violent when you’re battling trolls. The humor is also very sexual, and crude, but that’s a plus for me. This is warrior women being bawdy, fearless and in your face. They enjoy sex, drugs and kicking ass. 

Strap on your big girl pants, and get ready to have a great time.

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