#SPFBO Review of Sir Thomas the Hesitant and the Table of Less Valued Knights by Liam Perrin


SirThomasSir Thomas the Hesitant is one of the titles on my list of books for the fifth SPFBO competition and was one of the books that I decided to roll forward after having read the first 30% with the idea of reading and reviewing fully.  In this respect I have 3 more reviews to follow which I’m hoping will be in fairly quick succession followed by a post to reveal my semi finalists and the book I will be taking to stage two of the competition.  So, straight to my review of Sir Thomas The Hesitant.

Straight out of the gates I will say that this one was a fun story and very enjoyable for being so completely different from my normal sort of read.  To be honest, I very rarely pick up books that are described as humorous or comic, or great fun. I don’t really understand why not because on the occasions that I do so I inevitably have a good time and really welcome the breath of fresh air that comes with the change of style.

Sir Thomas is a story based on Arthurian legend and as such it has all the old favourites cast into the mix, Arthur – unsurprisingly, Merlin, the round table, Camelot and lots of other names that I won’t go into here.  What it does, that I felt was so very different, is it looks at the underdog of the story, or at least not the typical hero.  Thomas isn’t about to save the world, in fact, he’ll be lucky if he saves himself, let alone his brother.

Thomas has an elder brother who is truly the golden boy, unfortunately his brother gets himself into a spot of bother (aka thrown into prison) when he approaches the local Baron to beseech him to help the local villages who are dying of starvation whilst his granaries seem to be full to bursting.  Thomas finds himself thrown into the mix when he decides that to help his brother he will seek a boon from King Arthur, who is feeling particularly generous with the approach of his wedding to the lovely Guinevere.  Long story short, Thomas ends up being enrolled as one of the Less Valued Knights (a long and secret ambition of his was to become a knight) and his brother remains, for the time being, incarcerated, although still very much at the forefront of Thomas’s thoughts – when he’s not thinking of a particularly lovely young lady in waiting.

Anway, I’m not going to go overboard with the plot.  Thomas needs to find a way to help his brother, whilst undertaking his trials and duties as a newly made member of the LVKs. It’s the sort of story where two steps progress are made usually followed by a succession of events that knock things back a step or two.

What I really liked about this, apart from the very obvious fun elements, was the narrative voice and style of writing.  It’s a very easy, charming, book to read.  I realise that humour can be hit or miss but this one really just worked for me.  I hesitate to say it but it almost has a slapdash, Monty Python type feel to it, in my head at least.  Just look at the trials and the jousts as a fine example.

Thomas manages to gather around himself a bunch of the most unusual and unlikely characters and you can’t help liking them and becoming attached as you laugh at the predicaments they get into.  There are giantesses who are no longer quite so giant, evil wizards who have reformed and are no longer quite so evil, magic swords that are a little cursed and smelly and mischievous compasses.  And, underlying all of this there is the mystery of the Baron and the starving villagers.  It’s all rather tongue in cheek, entertaining and very easy to read and Thomas is an easy to like character, he takes risks, stands up for himself and wins friends – even if they are a little oddball.

It’s a book that stays true in that even though Thomas makes great strides by the conclusion of the story – he still isn’t the hero.  It just isn’t destined to be.

In terms of criticisms – I’m struggling to really come up with anything to be honest.  I went into this wondering if it would make me laugh and be an easy book to read and it was both of those things.  I suppose, if pushed, I would say the worldbuilding is a little skimpy but to be honest, it’s medieval fantasy based on King Arthur so I didn’t really feel the need for extensive descriptions.

So, in conclusion, even though isn’t going to be an overly long or elaborate review that certainly isn’t a reflection of my feelings for the book itself.  I would definitely like to read more of Thomas’s adventures.

I received a copy courtesy of the author, for which my thanks.  The above opinion is my own.







17 Responses to “#SPFBO Review of Sir Thomas the Hesitant and the Table of Less Valued Knights by Liam Perrin”

  1. Tammy

    This sounds very funny, although humor can be hit or miss for me.

  2. sjhigbee

    A great review, Lynn. I love the sound of this one – the dynamic and world sounds great fun. Thank you for sharing:))

  3. maddalena@spaceandsorcery

    When you first mentioned this book I had a good feeling about it, and you just confirmed that it could very well turn into a delightful read. Humor is indeed a difficult material to work with, but the author seems to have managed quite successfully, so I will keep this on my radar 🙂
    Thanks for sharing!

    • @lynnsbooks

      Yes, I think he does a very good job with the humour. This is a fun read.
      Lynn 😀

  4. #SPFBO Semi Finalists and Finalist Announcement | Books and travelling with Lynn

    […] Sir Thomas the Hesitant and the Table of Less Valued Knights by Liam Perrin […]

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    […] Sir Thomas the Hesitant and the Table of the Less Valued Knights by Liam Perrin […]

  6. jessicabookworm

    King Arthur legends and Monty Python-esque… Where can I get me a copy?! 😀

    • @lynnsbooks

      Actually, I think you would like this now I think about it -a lot of the other readers describe it as a little like Pratchett too.
      Lynn 😀

  7. waytoofantasy

    Great review, I like that this was a fun read, I’ve heard that from others too. 🙂

    • @lynnsbooks

      It’s difficult to get the comic elements right but this is very well done here.
      Lynn 😀

  8. Best of the Best list : 2019 | Books and travelling with Lynn

    […] Sir Thomas the Hesitant and the Table of the Less Valued Knights by Liam Perrin […]

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