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Whimsical and poignant, Sir Thomas the Hesitant and the Table of Less Valued Knights tells the story of Thomas Farmer who dreams of becoming a knight, sets out to save his brother from the hands of an evil Baron, and uncovers a plot that threatens Camelot itself. Along the way, he befriends a series of misfits including an allegedly reformed evil wizard, a shrinking giantess with a latent gift, a veteran knight with a dark secret, and his best friend Philip the Exceptionally Unlucky.
In the end, his friends must all join forces and Thomas must come to grips with what it means to be a true hero if they are to outwit the evil Baron. At its heart, Sir Thomas’s tale is the story of a young man growing up and learning what it means to be a hero in a world that doesn’t always make sense.
I knew I would enjoy Sir Thomas the Hesitant and The Table of Less Valued Knights when I first seen the cover and read the synopsis but nothing could have prepared me for just how much I would enjoy it. Sir Thomas the Hesitant and th… okay, that is one long title so I will just say STTHATTOLVK from now one. Nope, scrap that still too long. I’ll refer to the book as Sir Thomas throughout this review as I don’t think my keyboard can handle the super long title.
Where was I.. That’s right, nothing could have prepared me for how much I enjoyed Sir Thomas. While reading I found myself chuckling along from page to page and receiving some strange looks from those around me. Clearly they haven’t read Sir Thomas or they would have totally understood that my actions were warranted. Sir Thomas is filled to the brim with good humour be it witty remarks from the cast of amazing characters or the natural unravelling of mishaps that happen along the journey. I often found myself wondering if Sir Terry Pratchett is somewhat of an idol for Liam Perrin as Sir Thomas has a very similar feel to that of Discworld.
You’ve got to find the cause of the sickness and set that straight if you really want to fix anything. You’ve got a dream, Thomas. You have eyes to see the real problem. And you have the heart to want to fix it. Don’t abandon that to please someone else.
What I really enjoyed about this book is that it is wonderfully light hearted in its telling. This has come as a beautifully refreshing hiatus from my normal reading which is towards the darker fantasy genre of grimdark or the more serious affairs of science fiction and horror. Blood, guts and torture do not feature in Sir Thomas and I can honestly say I did not miss it. It would have been extremely out of place if Sir Thomas was to feature such gore.
Sir Thomas is set amongst our beloved Arthurian legend however rather than the serious business we are normally faced with we are welcomed into a Kingdom that is more foolish than ferocious. I liked this and I enjoyed seeing a different side to Arthur, Merlin, Guinevere and a few of the Knights of the Round Table however the usual suspects are not the focus of this story. Our main focus is on Thomas Farmer and his haphazard group of misfits. Liam Perrin has created a fantastic line up of characters in Sir Thomas that fit perfectly with the world and story on show. The characters are all well rounded and all have a part to play at some point or another in the book.
One thing that did bug me about this book is that the plot could have been a bit more fleshed out. The main arc is not explored as much as I would have liked and that we only stumble across it’s unraveling later in the book. Normally this would have been quite a big deal for me however the author does such a good job with everything else that I got caught up in the shenanigans and enjoyed the story regardless. In fact I would say that it may be the intention of Liam Perrin to fully immerse us in Thomas Farmers’ world by leaving the main arc till later in order for us to obliviously stumble across it with our protagonists.
If I learned one thing in Camelot, it’s this: the only way to fail is to stop trying. There’s always another chance… If I learned anything else, we’re not alone. We’re never alone.
Okay it’s time for me to wrap this up. I want to state that the second I closed the book I headed straight to the rainforest of bookstores to order the second book, Faycaliber. Sir Thomas can be treated as a standalone so don’t worry however you’ll most likely want to go on another adventure with Sir Thomas.
If you enjoy a good bit of humor with your fantasy then pick up a copy. If you love your grimdark but are looking to mix things up a bit then this is a nice break from the doom and gloom. If you are a fan of Sir Terry Pratchett for the wit he injects into Discworld then I reckon you’ll get on just nicely with Sir Thomas the Hesitant and The Table of Less Valued Knights.