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WesternSFA
The House of Yeel
by Michael McCloskey
Michael McCloskey pub, $2.99 (digital), $8.99 (print), 260pp
Release Date: April 7, 2012
A wonderfully eccentric piece of business.

“The House of Yeel” is a straight up quest novel. A scout sent to the legendary Far Coast of her world seeks the reclusive wizard Yeel. The kingdom of Riken is about to be attacked by barbarian hoards and the kingdom is doomed. Jymoor the scout has been sent to beg the wizard Yeel to help save them. She finds him eager to help when she mentions that the kingdom has a very large library that the hordes are likely to burn to the ground.

The House of Yeel hovers in the air off the Far Coast . (The book’s excellent cover gives a lovely image of this). Jymoor calls out to the wizard and, lo and behold, the House comes to the headland allowing the scout to enter the vast fortress/palace.

There Jymoor finally meets the Great Yeel, a tall thin man who natters on continually in a verbose awkward speech pattern.

He is friendly, if bumbling and frequently confused. He is also insatiably, boundlessly curious about the world and collects artifacts and knowledge like a dry sponge soaks up water.

You see, The Great Yeel is really a large green, cone-shaped alien with multiple tentacles and removable eyes. But he is able to present himself as whatever he wants/needs.

For me he is vastly entertaining, the real heart of this book. Reading his dialogue is a great wallow in dithering and curiosity.

Yeel gladly helps Jymoor on her quest. The biggest thing she acquires is the armor of the mythic Crescent Knight—armor that makes her stronger and gives her confidence, among other things. She trains with a sword master named Kasil, a no-nonsense woman who tells her what’s what.

Yeel and Jymoor’s adventures are kind of standard, but still fun. They come across a “garden” of stone-frozen figures of other adventure-seekers who had been transmogrified by some other alien lurking about. The Great Yeel frees them and this crowd eagerly joins in the quest.

Yeel has a companion/female/possibly mate of his species named Vot who lives on another planet reached through a portal Yeel has. She lives in similar circumstances as Yeel, in a large fortress near the sea…though her planet is predominantly green—including the humanoids that live there.

Vot needs help thwarting an invasion on her soil, too. So the two aliens get the humans/humanoids to agree to help their respective worlds defeat their foes.

Lots of great fighting goes on.

All in all, I really enjoyed this novel. I really enjoyed the Great Yeel and Vot.

The only caveat worth mentioning is the novel ends very abruptly. I mean it stops at a decent point, but sort of in the middle of a scene. ~~ Sue Martin

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