Are you ready for the Tournament? An ARC-review for Tournament of Losers by Megan Derr

 

With a title like Tournament of Losers, I didn’t quite know what to expect. It certainly wasn’t the kick-ass, adventurous, sweet story with elements of romance and drama that will tug on your heartstrings.

Tournament of Losers is a story that builds on the old fairy tales where challenges are issued, but with a twist that reminds me of Cinderella, well Cinderfella is this case. The story has some dark elements, but not in a way that it takes away from the fairy tale air this story has. Nevertheless this story packs a punch.

Have I mentioned that it’s long?

Rath is the main hero of the story. A pretty boy from the wrong side of town. While poor, he does well for himself, not helped by his dead-beat father. Of course it doesn’t take very long for his father to get Rath into some steep trouble. Then someone suggests the Tournament of Charlet, the one chance for a peasant to marry into noble families through a series of challenges.

Rath only entered to get his father out of debt, but things roll from there. And then there is his mysterious lover Tress.

Rath is a sweet, kind hearted character with a backbone that has learned to rely on himself. He’s helpful to others even though he has nothing himself. He doesn’t expect much for himself, but the fates have something different in mind.

There is a various cast of characters in this story, although the story is primarily told from Rath’s point of view. However, Tress is a character that pops up regularly, though the story is never told from his point of view. Tress is a mysterious firebrand with a thing for reading books in inappropriate places. He’s also a character I would have liked to have learned more about!

The writing is solid and flowing and the author creates a well-balanced story. Okay, I admit I would have liked at least three more chapters, but maybe we can bribe the author for a sequel or maybe a short story to follow up! The story was also well edited.

There were many things I enjoyed about this story. Rath as a characters, the troubles he gets into, his independence (sometimes he’s a little too independent) and Rath and a horse is just funny. The challenges were cleverly put together and you can’t help but laugh at the way Rath goes about it. I want to say more here, but you’ll just have to find out for yourself what I mean!

There isn’t a whole lot more I could say about Tournament of Losers without giving the story away. What I can say is that I very much enjoyed this spitfire story and could hardly put it down. You’ll find yourself rooting right along with everyone else for Rath. So when this story is released, go and pick it up!

Tournament of Losers Book Cover Tournament of Losers
Megan Derr
Fantasy
Less than Three Press
February 10, 2016
229
A copy was provided through Netgalley

All Rath wants is a quiet, peaceful life. Unfortunately, his father brings him too much trouble—and too many debts to pay—for that to ever be possible. When the local crime lord drags Rath out of bed and tells him he has three days to pay his father's latest debt, Rath doesn't know what to do. There's no way to come up with so much money in so little time.

Then a friend poses an idea just ridiculous enough to work: enter the Tournament of Losers, where every seventy-five years, peasants compete for the chance to marry into the noble and royal houses. All competitors are given a stipend to live on for the duration of the tournament—funds enough to cover his father's debt.

All he has to do is win the first few rounds, collect his stipend, and then it's back to trying to live a quiet life…

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