Book: Bring Me the Head of Prince Charming

Bring Me the Head of Prince Charming
Roger Zelazny and Robert Sheckley
1991

This book is light and funny and thoroughly enjoyable to read. The plot is a novel idea – a demon tries to set up a fairy tale (Sleeping Beauty) so that it comes out wrong to prove that evil is more at work in the world than good. To do this, he constructs the principle characters (Beauty and the Prince) from parts of other people that are expressly chosen to make their task unlikely (cowardly legs for the prince and a scorned woman’s head for Beauty). Through it all he is fighting a bureaucratic system of evil (of course evil is entirely bureaucracy, it only fits) and an angel who can summon whatever he needs at a moment’s notice. The book and the writing are delightfully funny.

This is a very well written book. The plot is paced well and the pace is generally good, varying from laid back to fast paced. The characters are also extremely well done. Azzie, the demon, is creepy and very much trying to be evil, even if sometimes one can’t help but feel for him. His “assistant”, Frike, is perhaps creepier than the actual demon, although his is human. His desire to partake in any questionable activity that Azzie can come up with is endlessly entertaining. Babriel, an angel set to make certain Azzie doesn’t cheat, is another fascinating character. He isn’t good as one generally thinks of angels, but he is good to a fault and the dichotomy there (he helps everyone, because that is good, even a demon) makes him an interesting character to watch. My favourite of the main characters was the witch, Ylith. She was funny and realistic at the same time. She added a much needed touch of human common sense to the book. The cast was very well balanced.

This is a light book and generally a pretty quick read. I enjoy it a great deal and defiantly recommend it to anyone else!

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