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Cozy fantasy veterinarian turns detective inspector.

Cozy fantasy has experienced a massive boom in the past few years as readers seek sanctuary within the warmth of a coffee shop or amongst the dusty, well-worn tomes of a library. Cozy is a subgenre that allows us to step away from the grit, blood and body count of many fantasy novels and reconnect with the beautiful everyday. In Andrew D. Meredith’s new release Quaint Creatures: Magical and Mundane, the embrace of the everyday is offered with a fresh style and focus.

We step through the front door of a veterinarian’s shop and meet Norrik Softstep, a semi-retired dungeon inspector who now spends his days tending to the city’s myriad fantastic pets. When Norrik is asked to inspect a crate of rare creatures causing a bit of havoc, his everyday routine is interrupted by a sinister mystery.

Although written with a softer touch, this story felt immediately reminiscent of Pratchett’s Discworld cities with its loveable characters and the influence of nostalgic fantasy elements. As a long time fantasy gamer and reader, I found myself smiling along with Meredith’s subtle nods, which never felt heavy-handed. You’ll find delicious food descriptions, more fantasy creatures than you’ll know what to do with, a heartwarming established romance between Norrik and his sassy, fabulous wife, and a motley crew of hometown friends.

Another “brownie” point, if you will, was the fact that all the characters are non-human. There is, however, a healthy representation of undead, including my favorite character in the story, the dungeon owner lich, Sennacheron. His endearing friendship with Norrik begs for further exploration in the higher levels, and I know Meredith plans future standalone stories that feature Sennacheron and several of the other side characters of Quaint Creatures.

As the spectrum of the cozy subgenre continues to grow, I look forward to more of Meredith’s contributions to that space. Quaint Creatures is a bingeable, endearing read, and sets the stage for a delightful series of standalone cozy fantasy novels.

** Please note that this is not an official SPFBOX judging review.

Quaint Creatures: Magical and Mundane

Quaint Creatures: Magical and Mundane

Quaint Creatures: Magical and Mundane

Quaint Creatures: Magical and Mundane

Quaint Creatures: Magical and Mundane

Quaint Creatures: Magical and Mundane

Quaint Creatures: Magical and Mundane

Quaint Creatures: Magical and Mundane

ToriTecken

Tori is a wife, a stay-at-home mom, and a storyteller. Published for the first time at the age of 14, she now writes in a variety of fantasy subgenres with an emphasis on dark epic fantasy. Tori also runs the Youtube channel ToriTalks, where she reads, reviews, and hosts discussions with readers and authors.

One Comment

  • Veronica Palacios says:

    oh my gosh so many things about this one are calling out to me, a romance with a married couple, a vet for fantastic creatures, and a comparison to Pratchett? Thanks for bringing this to my attention!

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