Monday, April 20, 2009

Review Magic, Mensa & Mayhem

Review: Magic, Mensa & Mayhem
Author: Karina L. Fabian
ISBN: Paperback 978-1-934041-78-9
Swimming Kangaroo Books

In Magic, Mensa & Mayhem, Karina L. Fabian mixes dragons, elves, pixies, and a variety of other characters from Faerie, as well as the trickster, Coyote, of Native American Legend, to create a humorous mystery generously sprinkled with fantasy elements. The two main characters, Vern d'Wyvern (a dragon) and Sister Grace of Our Lady of the Miracles (a High Mage of the Faerie Catholic Church) are partners doing business as DragonEye P.I. in the Mundane world. At the request of Bishop Aiden, (also of the Faerie Catholic Church) they are sent on an unpaid assignment to watch over the Faerie creatures who have been invited to attend a Mundane Mensa Conference.

Some time ago, the Gap opened between the Mundane World and Faerie, allowing travel and trade between the worlds. Like any other phenomenon, some people adapt easily, others find it more difficult. The current assignment for Vern and Sister Grace take them farther away from the Gap than usual, thus creating more of a stir among the humans.

Vern, while an immortal and quite intelligent, lost much of his size and knowledge during a Faerie confrontation with St. George. He is slowly gaining back his former self by doing kind deeds in the service of the Faerie Catholic Church. Thus, where called, Vern goes. While the current unpaid assignment is touted as being laid back and fun, both Vern and Grace go prepared for anything. It's a good thing they do.

Before they reach the conference, the first inklings of a problem occur when it's found all the luggage on their airship of Faerie passengers has been tidied and rearranged by color. Then, upon arrival at their hotel, they find all their room reservations have been lost and those not lost have been switched, creating chaos among the Faerie folk. The only happy ones seem to be the naiads who have taken up residence in the hotel's pond. Things go from bad to worse as High Elves (who generally take hours just to say hello) begin speaking like humans. Could these elves be getting "high" on Mundane soft drinks? Throw in the Valkyrie, Brunhilde, snuggling up with various males both human and Faerie and a dwarf who wants to be discovered as an actor and the plot thickens.

Ms. Fabian keeps the story light with puns and banter. The creative names she uses for her elves get the reader smiling right from the start. For example, the two main elves involved in the mystery are Galendoropynphordaladys of the House Eternal Winds of the Forests of the High Elves (read Gallant?-or-pimp-for-da-ladies, OR Gallant, adore, o primp for the ladies) and Gozonvabosomofic of the House Eternal Winds of the Shores of the High Elves (read Goes-on- verbose-some-more-fic).

Vern with his keen intellect, not to mention his sharp teeth and ability to breathe fire, helps to keep things under control, while working to figure out what's really going on. Meanwhile Sister Grace has the talent of her voice for weaving magic to soothe jangled nerves and shape events which threaten to turn to chaos. Ms. Fabian has created a believable world where humans and Faerie creatures co-mingle. This is a book full of good, clean fun. If you love dragons, elves, pixies and other Faerie folk, make sure to put this on your list of books to read.

You can learn more about Vern and Sister Grace at


  1. Nicely done. I totally missed the Elves names, thatnks for the insight and giggle

  2. Hi Chris, thanks for stopping by. The elves names were great. I found myself trying to decipher them and find the hidden pun. I only missed a couple.