This book by Patrick E. McLean was awesome. I listened to the audiobook narrated by the author. He is a fantastic narrator. His delivery of all the characters' lines were so good. He got the voice for the protagonist perfectly. The wizard and an interesting Orc character - I distinctly remember them all and they were unique and interesting voices that really brought the story alive and made the fantastic dialog shine. Now onto the story.
I really enjoyed the story. I was never bored, which sadly I can't say about many novels. First off, I love adventure stories. This was an adventure story that was very different. You can tell by the title. What? A merchant going on an adventure? Yes. But he's what you might expect from Patrick, a character who uses his brains and wit to get what he wants. He's not swinging a sword. He's not out for glory. He never set out to be a hero.
As much as I love fantasy for all its tropes, it was refreshing to read a story with a very different kind of protagonist. The wizard was a great character too. A bit of what we expect except when it comes to his personality. He was a fun antagonist.
Another great thing about this story is that I was never able to guess what was going to happen next. In a way that Boltak the main character might say it: "This ain't your ordinary fantasy adventure kid." Something else I liked was the prose. Usually it was snappy witty dialogue that had me laughing a lot. Sometimes, however, there were remarkable phrases elegantly describing things of beauty. More quiet moments where you weren't waiting for the next laugh but carefully reading or listening to each word. When you get to chapter 37 you'll see what I mean. Great writing. So I gave this novel a 5 star rating because it was a blast to read, had fantastic writing, and I'm really glad I gave it a go.