★ "Anderson ... construct[s] a satisfying story while poking fun at all genre traditions. Fantasy fans are ensured a good laugh." —Booklist, ALA
"A light tone overlays serious undercurrents in this leisurely but entertaining fantasy." —Kirkus
Standard Hero Behavior
John David Anderson
Houghton Mifflin Harcourt / 2007
Mason Quayle is a bard living in a town whose heroes have long since fled. No heroes = no adventurous tales and nothing for a bard to write about. So when the opportunity arises for Mason to go on a real-life quest—a chance to be a hero himself—he takes it. Following in the footsteps of his long-vanished hero father, Mason and his best friend, Cowel, set out on a journey full of misadventure and run-ins with an unusual cast of characters, among them a retired hero-cum-shoe-salesman, a somnambulist sword fighter, a swarm of unfriendly (and deadly) pixies, a wholesome young witch, and a werewolf hit man. They also stumble upon the answers to the questions that have haunted Mason for the past 10 years: Where is his father? Why didn't he return to his family? Was he really a hero?