Storytellers on Tour Book Tour – Day 2
***On the ribroad*** A glimpse into the fantastic and unusual world created by Travis M. Riddle
Self Published: November 19, 2019
Genre: Fantasy Adventure
Age Group: Adult
Click here to check out the rest of the tour schedule: Storytellers On Tour
Kali is a merchant who yearns to leave the harsh deserts of Herrilock and travel across the sea, trading goods and soaking in the sights and cultures. With a new potion on the market undercutting her profits, though, her seabound dreams are put on hold indefinitely.
Failed musician Puk hits rock bottom after yet another catastrophic performance. Wandering the city streets in search of any sip of booze or whiff of fire-spit he can get his hands on, he resigns to the fact that he’s stuck in the desert with no way back home to Atlua.
Until one day, their paths cross with an illicit job opportunity. With its hefty payday, Kali and Puk could afford to finally escape the desert heat and set sail across the gulf.
The black market job would see them travel endless dunes on a road made from a massive dead beast’s ribs and out to a mythical city in the sea, scuffling with monsters and thugs in search of a long-lost book that might be the most dangerous object in the world.
How hard could it really be?
Welcome to Day 2 of The Spit and Song Book Tour, hosted by Storytellers On Tour. This is the fourth time i’ve been fortunate to have a place on an event, and I want to express how awesome they have been to work with. I appreciate how genuine they are in their appreciation and love for fantasy, as well as the community as a whole.
I also want to state that I participate with the understanding that I will post an honest review of the book. That is important to me, just as a person, trying to make my way through our world and trying to be better than the day before.
When this tour was announced, I felt excited to see this book on spotlight and to have the opportunity to read it, and have fun with the review. I had already downloaded a copy from Amazon a few months before on my wife’s Kindle, but never got back to it. Anyways, the blurb, as well as other reviews grabbed me.
To compare this to anything, although the writing is different, the feel and style brought to mind One of my favorite series, The Bas Lag Books from China Mieville. It has that dark weirdness and otherworldly odd characters, yet still relatable and unique with a bit of a positive vibe.
This book definitely brought up some comparisons, however, where Mieville’s writing can be “heavy” and uncomfortable (in a good way, if that makes sense), Spit and Song breathed the adventure through the storyline with such ease and enjoyment.
The main characters allow us to follow along with them in alternating perspectives. The Flower. Kali, she is the young entrepreneur. She loves to travel, finding items she can purchase in one city, and then sell to another for a profit. The cities are all inhabited by varying, and unique species, so there is the possibility of being successful. She has not made it yet, and after some early events in the story, she is coming to the realization that she needs to expand further, and to take more risks if she wants to really feel successful.
And then there is The Frog. Puk, who is so entertaining and his character growth throughout this book were unexpected and so friggin’ satisfying to me. I really related to some of his struggles, and thought the writer excelled at translating the emotional turmoil that drug use, and the addiction, puts one through. Fire-Spit is the most important thing to Puk as the story begins, he’s 66, which is like middle age for his species. He’s a minor player in a traveling entertainment troupe, it was like the Saturday Night Live of thus world, and Puk is like the Jim Belushi. He finds himself kicked out of the group and hitting that low point in life, stuck far from home with no money, and no friends.
I laughed out loud at times, and you will too reading some of Puk’s misadventures. And Kali has the right spice of personality to make a really entertaining duo that we get to see take off on an adventure to steal something for a lot of money, or crescents. Although at times it becomes more of a mis-adventure, the organic world building along the way, as well as the colorful dialogue kept this story moving for me and felt satisfied and happy at the end. Feelings that are harder to maintain right now in our crazy human world.
Thank you for stopping by, I really appreciate the time you took to read through this. It means a lot.
Travis M. Riddle lives with his pooch in Austin, TX, where he earned his bachelor’s degree in English Writing & Rhetoric at St. Edward’s University. His work has been published in award-winning literary journal the Sorin Oak Review.