The Adventures of Mad Gad the Bard

Book 1

Fiction - Adventure
262 Pages
Reviewed on 06/18/2024
Buy on Amazon

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    Book Review

Reviewed by K.C. Finn for Readers' Favorite

The Adventures of Mad Gad the Bard: Book 1 is a work of fiction in the fantasy, action, and adventure genres, and is the opening to a new series of works. Penned by author James Coyle, the plot follows Gadriel, a witty bard whose performances often lead to unexpected adventures. From a whispering gemstone to perilous sea voyages and surprising betrayals, Gadriel's journey is filled with twists and turns, culminating in a revelation about his closest friend that changes everything. This delightful story offers readers immersion into a world of whimsical adventure and unexpected twists. Gadriel, with his sharp-witted dialogue and abundant musical talent, immediately captivates as a protagonist prone to stumbling into perilous situations with very amusing and exciting results.

James Coyle's storytelling strikes a good balance between moments of action, humor, and fantasy surprises, keeping us eagerly turning pages to uncover each new twist in Gadriel's journey while building the emotional connection between us and our hero. The blend of whimsy and intrigue, from enchanted objects to high-stakes rescues and amusing rivalries and friendships being formed, created a rich tapestry of storytelling both nostalgic and fresh, taking elements of classic fantasy and adding new attitudes and dynamics for modern fantasy fans to appreciate. Coyle's ability to craft engaging characters with compelling personalities and imaginative, well-paced plots ensures that a sequel would be eagerly anticipated, offering us another chance to dive into Gadriel's escapades and the vibrant universe he inhabits. Overall, The Adventures of Mad Gad the Bard is a highly recommended read for fans of light-hearted, exciting fantasy adventures, and I can’t wait to see where his adventures take him next.

Gaius Konstantine

"The next day started the same, just slightly more hungover than the last." For Gadriel, the protagonist of James Coyle's novel The Adventures Of Mad Gad The Bard, a typical day involves hangovers, singing, and fun nonviolent crime. Oh, and occasionally being slapped with a fish. One day, Gadriel and his best friend Shanks stumble onto a stolen purse of coins and one very peculiar gem. The problem is that many people want that jewel and are willing to do extreme and nasty things to acquire it. And that's how our not-so-heroic bard finds himself an unwilling guest aboard the Midnight, a sleek, dark pirate ship captained by the not-so-lovely but exceptionally deadly Tamara. As they all seek answers about the gem's nature, they discover peril at every turn, and Gadriel realizes that sometimes being mad is the only way to stay sane.

Stand fast, me hearties, yo-ho-ho! The Adventures Of Mad Gad The Bard by James Coyle is a whimsical swashbuckling tale of daring escapades and sheer delight. The plot may seem straightforward, as a dangerous quest for riches and answers. Still, it is expertly executed and infused with an underlying theme of friendship, family, and a struggle against evil. An entertaining and well-developed cast of characters in a low-fantasy setting creates perfect immersion, and you may find yourself ready to hoist the black flag. A few unexpected twists and an energizing pace make this novel a superb read for fans of adventures, fantasy, and action. Not only do I recommend this book, I want to see a sequel or two.

Lex Allen

Gadriel is a bard. In Celtic cultures, a bard is a professional storyteller, verse-maker, music composer, oral historian, and/or genealogist. Gadriel fits the bill for many of these talents, especially singing and playing the flute. Gadriel is also talented in getting himself and his friends into difficult situations, including the discovery of a whispering gemstone tale which sets Gadriel and his best friend, Shanks, on an adventure that crosses the high seas, encountering a variety of villains and a series of seemingly impossible rescue missions. If all that wasn't enough, Gadriel learns that his best friend isn't who or what he appears to be, and the world the pair inhabits is turned upside-down!

It's probably just me, but the language and humor that infiltrate the otherwise serious situations remind me of novels written by British authors. I couldn't help it; my brain was translating British language and situational humor into every scene and dialog. I consider that a talent! Another talent that James Coyle possesses is a writing style that sets and moves through relatively complicated scenes with ease; that is to say, excellent descriptions with minimal words and very little extraneous detail. The story is fast-paced and perfectly executed for the action-adventure fantasy genre, a difficult one to conquer, with huge author competition. However, I predict that The Adventures of Mad Gad the Bard, the first book in a planned series, is an indicator that author James Coyle is well on his way up the genre's top 100 lists.