Title: The Dungeoneers
Author: Jeffery Russell
Series: The Dungeoneers #1
Durham has a quiet life as a city guard, until a case of mistaken identity assigns him to a group of dwarves who are professional dungeon-crawlers. Their hunt for a necromantic artifact leads them deep into an ancient ruin, and the centuries-old secrets hiding within could destroy them all . . .
This was fun. It’s at once both a bit of a spoof on typical fantasy and gaming conventions, and a more serious look at what would happen if dungeons were tackled by a team of professionals instead of a typical random group of adventurers.
I particularly liked the chickens.
The dwarves are clever in more than just the usual ways, too. When Durham reveals he’s an orphan, the collective horror is hilarious. Because being an orphan means he’s obviously set up for some trope about his ancestry or potential to trigger, and that’s the kind of thing that turns a job into an “adventure.”
The ending was also hilarious. Between all the shenanigans that mess up what’s supposed to be the grand finale, and especially the final fate for the villain, the comedy portion was strong.
Overall this is a good read. The personalities of the crew, the traps in the dungeon, and the inadvertent adventure that sneaks up on them was fun. I rate this book Recommended.