More magic – or at least the promise of it – abounds in “Once Upon a Tim” by Stuart Gibbs, illustrated by Stacy Curtis. Gibbs is the author of many earlier works, including the Spy School and Charlie Thorne series. Crazy fans like “The Princess Bride” and “Shrek” will enjoy “Once Upon a Tim,” a captivating film in a traditional knightly adventure.
Like other stories, “Once Upon a Tim” debunks the genre’s antics for the sake of satire. Poor Tim is a farmer, just like his parents and grandparents before him. The peasantry is a nasty class. It was a boring life filled with chores and more errands. There isn’t much else to be had in the kingdom, aside from the village idiot, a currently occupied position that seems to involve stuffing mud into one’s pants. This is not a kingdom with much upward mobility.
Tim’s fortunes change when a stinx, “the most horrible, horrible, deadly monster you can imagine”, steals the princess of a neighboring kingdom, Grace. (As far as we know, the neighboring kingdom is not Monaco). rich bride. But first he needed to assemble a squad of brave knights.
This is where Tim comes in, along with his best friend, Belinda, “an icon” – a word labeled IQ Booster. (The book is filled with this stuff, which is a bit distracting but taught me the word “borborygmus”: “the weird gurgling your stomach makes sometimes.”) Girls aren’t allowed to be knights. , so Belinda disguises herself as herself, and Tim agrees to keep her secret, since girl farmers are even worse than male farmers.
The two enlist in the service of Prince Ruprecht and his witch, the sinister Nerlim, along with Ferkle (the village idiot who just happened to wander to the knight’s trial), and leave boring comforts at home in search of the vile demon. . What followed was more gloom and much doom: Forest of Doom, River of Doom, Chasm of Doom and Mountains of Doom. They have to deal with man-eating butterflies, quarrelsome demons and cannibals, not to mention Tim’s dog Rover, who was once a dog but is now only half a frog. , thanks to a clever transformation.
They certainly weren’t a promising crew, but their amateur princess rescue sparked fun. The fun of the book comes from Gibbs’ deployment of cryptic humor and rambunctious humour. Its heart lies in a clever subversion. No one is quite who we are led to believe, not least Tim, who may be born a farmer but has the heart of a lion. Or, maybe, a fr-dog.
https://www.nytimes.com/2022/02/25/books/review/adam-rubin-the-ice-cream-machine-stuart-gibbs-once-upon-a-tim.html Comedy fiction from the creators of ‘Tacos-loving Dragons’ and the ‘Spy School’ series