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Mules, Knaves, and Close Shaves’ Back-of-the-book Description:

Change comes in one way or another to the life of every man. However, when Alan Daele, a rut-stuck travel agent, finds himself whisked away to another world seconds after what’s probably the last shower he’ll take for a long while, he’s about to find out that change just might be a tad overrated.

Dragged into a world so bizarre, it’s almost normal; having only his towel as his garb and a razor his weapon, he’s forced on a quest to – of course – defeat an evil Tyrant. After all, for what other reason could he be here in the first place?

With uncanny companions to guide the way, he’s also supposed to defeat said tyrant by unleashing the powers of Rock, Paper or Scissors… because that’s apparently how things are done here. With no one he can trust and a price on his head… come what may, all Alan can do is keep moving forward. For all he knows, that’s his only ticket home.

My Thoughts

For the sake of full disclosure, I sort of know the author of Mules, Knaves, and Close Shaves – we’re both members of a writing group on Facebook. Weaver saw my blog and generously offered to give me a copy of his book in exchange for my honest review. The only reservations I had about this was that, as you might have noticed by my other reviews, I don’t usually read books in the fantasy genre. But hey, who doesn’t love free books! And honestly, what do I have this blog for if not to tell people about books they might not have otherwise thought to read?!

So I happily accepted and friends, I am super glad I did. Right away I was drawn to the light and humorous writing style and the main character felt relatable and genuine. When the story shifted into new territory (i.e. a new world where a wizard-like guy is explaining the situation and people fight with swords, etc.) I was a little apprehensive at first, but that quickly went away and I felt comfortable letting my imagination go along for the ride.

As far as the writing goes, I had no trouble picturing the scenery, the armor, and the characters he described. I also had no qualms about any dialogue between characters – the author did a great job making their conversations realistic even when the words were “other worldish”.

For the subject matter, I thought the main premise behind the book was brilliant – that rock, paper, scissors (essentially – it’s actually strength, wisdom, and skill) could play such a big role in the life or death of a world. And I thought the comedic element was really refreshing in what is essentially an epic battle story. Granted there were times I felt a little out of my comfort zone, but not so much that it was distracting.

Now, I didn’t love the cover… you know you should never judge a book by the cover and it this case that is absolutely correct! If I had just seen this in a store I might not have picked it up, but again, I’m glad I did.

I also didn’t love the ending, but that’s mostly because I wanted more to happen – I wanted the story to continue. But I suppose, all stories must end eventually.

Buy it now!

Favorite Quotes From Mules, Knaves, and Close Shaves:

“How does wisdom beat strength in a fight?”

“If you had any you’d know.”


“A stroke of genius in the words of a lunatic.”


“It’s amazing how much adrenaline can change the way you look at things.”


“I was a small part in a much bigger picture… what happened today would only be a stitch in the fabric of all that was.”

In Conclusion

Overall Mules, Knaves, and Close Shaves gets 3.5 out of 5 stars. And I recommend it to anyone who likes funny, adventurous stories, or anyone thinking of dipping a toe into the fantasy genre.

If you’re interested in learning more about Mathew Weaver and his other works, check out his website here.

Be sure to check out the Pin-able quotes below!

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