Mirth Publishing St. Johns
Royal Flush by Scott Bartlett
Royal Flush asks the question, can a man who throws his dates in a dungeon succeed romantically?A recipient of the H. R. (Bill) Percy Prize, Royal Flush is a novel about a man known only as the King, and as his Kingdom careens toward catastrophe, he cruises seedy taverns looking for likely maidens. He is particularly bad at this.His incompetence and his weakness for beautiful women drag him deeper and deeper into trouble. He is portrayed as a cross dresser by the Kingdom Crier, the Kingdom’s most popular tabloid. Shortly after, he must defend his castle against a siege with only his royal fiddler, while attempting to steal his royal fiddler’s girlfriend. And when the siege lifts, he must play the warmongering Linguists’ Guild against King Cedric, a visiting monarch–the stakes are love, death and dethronement.(book description from Amazon)
This book seemed really strange to read at first and it is certainly very original in concept. There are shades of Monty Python, Michael Palin, and I think John Cleese would be perfectly cast in a film as the King. The story romps along with a despicable main man, The King, whose name is later changed to Mud when he is dethroned. It is mainly based on the king searching for a wife and getting into all kinds of trouble. There are some hilarious passages, like the one describing the handicapping method for the polo match which I am tempted to borrow and develop for my scrabble games. The story jumps back and forward in time a few times but is fast moving and really amusing. The writing is flawless and there are terrific one liners, i.e.
(Alicesays) ‘This better be amusing.’ If Alice’s idea of ‘amusing’ included shameless melodrama and partial nudity she was in for a real treat.
No one is impressed with this King, he beats puppies, executes people on a whim and locked his mother in the dungeons for years, but perversely you can’t help but like him.
I particularly liked the fact that he hanged people ‘for being really annoying.’
There are so many interesting characters and bit parts, like Pablo the prophet who got thing wrong because his timing was a bit off, or the adviser who apparently rises from the grave, and Gertrude (mother) who rides the desert plains berating people for not ironing their clothes.
There is a ‘not very happy ever after ending’ which I won’t say very much about and you would never guess it anyway, but all told this is a good original amusing book.