A Southern Fried Fantasy Adventure Story

Fiction - Fantasy - General
447 Pages
Reviewed on 01/29/2023
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Author Biography

Former history teacher D. W. Goates lives with his beloved wife under a mossy oak in North Florida. His first novel, A Witch’s Burden, was awarded five stars in an independent review by Readers’ Favorite and won a silver medal in the 2020 Next Generation Indie Book Awards. Visit his website at dwgoates.com.

    Book Review

Reviewed by Juan Lynch for Readers' Favorite

A Southern Fried Fantasy Adventure Story by D.W. Goates is an appropriately titled novel. The main quest begins when bounty hunter Galan and his companion, an elf named Ivy, discover that a goblin army has invaded elf territory. Goblins are despicable evildoers, but they are not well organized. It was thus alarming to find out that the goblins were being led by humans. After warning the nearby elf community, the duo sets out on a journey to alert the human empire as well. Despite warning the people of Blountstown of the impending danger, they were unable to escape the goblin onslaught. Galan and Ivy continue their journey to fight back against their enemies. They are joined by unlikely allies and dragged into several side quests. Will the heroes triumph in the end?

I highly recommend A Southern Fried Fantasy Adventure Story by D.W. Goates. As expected, the theme of good versus evil plays a huge role. I appreciated that there was redemption available for some of the characters and that the romance was subtle. On the other hand, the action scenes were both entertaining and amusing. What I liked most about this novel was the world-building. This fantasy world has gone through many wars that could provide material for more books in the series. Due to the ease with which I could picture the events, I believe this novel could be adapted into an amazing animated series.

Stephanie Chapman

A Southern Fried Fantasy Adventure Story by D.W. Goates is an unusual tale that opens with bounty hunter Galan discovering that he is being followed. Ivy, an elf he met in Blountstown, is embarking on a pilgrimage to Falling Waters. She helps him find the troll he was tracking, and Galan decides to accompany her on her journey. When the pair reaches Falling Waters, they discover that the water has gone. On investigation, Galan and Ivy discover a goblin fort. Once inside, they overhear a plot to invade Blountstown. A sorcerer, Rae, Captain Starnes, and Birk discover the spies, and a fight ensues. Ivy and Galan escape and begin spreading the word about the invasion. After doing their best to defend Blountstown, only Galan, Ivy, and a lone soldier survive. As they head toward Alstadt they find the severely injured Birk. What should they do with him?

D.W. Goates created a complex storyline with interesting personalities. The book chronicles the journey that Galan, Ivy, Birk, and Eloise undertake. Their paths eventually cross as the goblin invasion spreads. I thought Birk was entertaining with his sarcasm and witty comebacks when being questioned. Despite his involvement in the nefarious invasion plan, he does not appear to be a vile individual. His attempts to redeem himself are constantly under scrutiny from Galan and Eloise. My favorite part was in a town called Montbaur. Birk was assigned to train recruits, and he informs Stephanie that they are being tested on their ability to hide from enemies. She tells the group what Birk had instructed her and he leaves Montbaur the same day. Amusingly, the recruits take the assignment to heart. I would recommend A Southern Fried Fantasy Adventure Story to anyone who enjoys fantasy books with a lot of travel, interesting characters, and unpredictable twists.

Vincent Dublado

D.W. Goates puts the fun in fantasy in this high-adventure tale, A Southern Fried Fantasy Adventure Story. What happens when a bounty-hunting swordsman crosses paths with a highly curious elf maid on a pilgrimage? Normally just a casual greeting, but this situation calls for them to team up as they discover a sinister plot against the crown by an evil prince who wants to disturb years of peace. This despot is now at the pinnacle of his power and has the resources to implement his scheme. He is prepared for chaos, as he has plenty of allies ranging from thieves to sorcerers. All of the elven forests, lakes, and rivers would be his, plus a bonus of sea frontage. The swordsman Galan and the elf maid Ivy need not fret about the odds as the crown has allies of its own. But some of the crown’s notable allies may be too much for Galan to handle.

A Southern Fried Fantasy Adventure Story has chosen the promising theme of a quest in fantasy fiction to provide a light yet page-turning experience for readers who crave solid characters on a mission worth the risk. What makes D.W. Goates’s story different is the healthy dash of wit and humor that he injects into the storyline - something that you rarely find in serious fantasy tales. For the entire length of the story, we accompany Galan and Ivy as they rely on their skills and wits to manage allies and implement plans to save a kingdom and its citizenry from a hostile takeover. The hallmark of this novel is its brilliant tone that is light yet has a strong foundation based on its world-building and impressive characters. Once you start reading the first page, you’ll not want to stop.