Review: The Frugal Wizard’s Handbook for Surviving Medieval England

The Frugal Wizard’s Handbook for Surviving Medieval England by Brandon Sanderson

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

I was part of the kickstarter that funded this book

I did not immediately jump into this book (Sanderson’s Secret Project ) because it was not a Cosmere book. (The Cosmere being the equivalent of the MCU for almost all Sanderson’s fantasy books) Once I finally got to it, I was a little hesitant at first. The tone was somewhat like an adult version of Sanderson’s Alcatraz series (a middle grade series). Although, seemingly like Sanderson, I’m a fan of dad jokes – this could get a bit tiring over the course of a novel.

But I kept on and, helped by sporadic pages from an in-universe book, it seemed to take on a tone not dissimilar from The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy. The book intercuts between our hapless protagonist and a guidebook written by a relatively shady corporation.

I found that as our character learned more and more about their situation and we started to see the scope of what was happening, I got more and more addicted to getting to the end. The chapter cliffhangers became real cliffhangers.

I think it’s a no brainer to check out the story if you’re a Sanderson fan. It might not be one of your favorites (my dad wasn’t into it; a work friend seemed lukewarm on it), but it’s still in his wheelhouse. If you liked Hitchhicker’s Guide – this isn’t nearly as British – but I think you’ll still likely find it fun.

One last note: If you happen to listen to the audiobook (I didn’t this time around, even though I have it), track down a copy of the physical book or e-book. Every other page has an illustration at the bottom in light blue. At first it just seemed like nonsense drawings that matched some of the illustrations from the in-world book. But eventually I realized that the artist was telling a second story in silent-film form on the bottom of every other page. It was pretty fun to see that along with the main story.

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