Wednesday, May 26, 2010

Genre Character of the Week: Thraxas

Although not actually a part of my standared Fantasy, Horror and Science Fiction genres, I’ve always been a pretty big fan of the Detective novel. From the Encyclopedia Brown books I read as a kid to Sherlock Holmes and the Spenser novels of Robert B. Parker in the last couple of years I’ve always had a special place for a good detective story.

In 2009 I discovered two Detectives that crossed genres in clever and interesting ways – this week we’ll look at the first - Thraxas (pictured left), created by Martin Scott.

He’s a down on his luck, has-been wizard-in-traing/mercenary who lives above a local bar in a Middle-Earth style fantasy world, and best of all, he’s a Raymond Chandler-style detective. He tells his stories in first person, they involve all of my favourite elements of fantasy (Elves, Dragons, Magic, etc.), and all of my favourite elements of the hard-boiled detective story (dangerous thugs, beautiful dames, daring escapes, etc.) Thraxas is a private detective in the city of Turai, populated with Humans, Elves and the occasional Orc. He’s a gambler, and not a particularly good one. When he can drag his hungover butt out of bed he does his job very well.

In a way he’s not unlike some of the best TV detectives like Columbo or Jim Rockford. If you’re a Fantasy fan who has never tried detective stories, the Thraxas series is a great place to start.

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