Jim's Books

The Frugal Wizard's Handbook for Surviving Medieval England

Brandon Sanderson

The Frugal Wizard's Handbook for Surviving Medieval England
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Description

A man awakes in a clearing in what appears to be medieval England with no memory of who he is, where he came from, or why he is there. Chased by a group from his own time, his sole hope for survival lies in regaining his missing memories, making allies among the locals, and perhaps even trusting in their superstitious boasts. His only help from the "real world" should have been a guidebook entitled The Frugal Wizard's Handbook for Surviving Medieval England, except his copy exploded during transit. The few fragments he managed to save provide clues to his situation, but can he figure them out in time to survive?

Reviewed on 29th July 2023

The second of Brandon Sanderson’s secret projects is a standalone story about a chap who wakes up, with no memory, in a field… in something resembling mediaeval England, and with only scraps of his guidebook still intact.

The narration reminds me of Sanderson’s early Alcatraz series, which I haven’t ever managed to get into, though much more polished. It’s a very casual telling, but doesn’t quite achieve the same level of charm experienced in reading Tress, the first secret project.

The book (well, the edition I’ve got) is illustrated throughout. I think the secondary story that plays out through line drawings on almost every page is actually my favourite part of the whole construction.

Normally, one of the things I love about Sanderson’s worlds is how they are built. This one seems to be solidly constructed, but we are visiting it too early to really learn about that - and so I feel a bit like I missed out on something there.

A good book, but not up there with Tress as the best of the best.

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