Natural 20! – a review of Fool’s Gold by Jon Hollins

Have you ever read a book that gave off huge D&D vibes? I’m not sure how many of you have played it, but this book combines the greatest parts of D&D into a fantastic read.

We’re talking dragons, found family and the perfect plot I have ever read.

Dragons rule the land, as does their greed. The people are poor due to ever increasing taxes, one person among them being Will, who lost his family’s far due to their greed. He’d want anything to give the dragons a piece of their own medicine. But as Will meets some newfound allies, they suggest the impossible – stealing from a dragon. And Will may be the only one of the group with the knowledge to do something downright ridiculous to gain riches.

This novel was unafraid to be loud. I love novels of this caliber – where the characters are uncensored, both serious and comedic, and while they plot may be tense it is not afraid to be ridiculous. It takes those absurd moments in stride just as much as it did the dark ones, balancing and distributing the two with precision.

The characters were made excellently, especially the four pivotal characters; Will, Quirk, Balor and Lette. And even the occasional perspective from the antagonistic dragons! They shone as individuals with their own personal backstories, fears and things that made them tick. It was so hard to pick a favourite, but that didn’t matter. As the found family trope normally goes, they were at their best when working together as a team.

I had never read a novel structured to the degree of perfection that Fool’s Gold was. I need to read more novels with heist plotlines because this one was so good! Hollins masters the way he reveals plans, mishaps and characters doing their own things in a way that constantly keeps you on your toes. Even when I had these expectations in place for whether the heist would succeed or not – or what parts of it – I loved finding out how things went wrong and predicting how such things would be fixed. Altogether, very entertaining.

I will admit I’m not usually a fan of dragons. However, the way they were built into this world was so refreshing and pivotal to the way people lived. Dragons are pivotal to the culture of this series, unlike other fantasy stories I have read that feature dragons, and the power that they hold is very well explained and implemented. They rule the world to the point where even though they are powerful, they are lazy about certain things. This gave the dragons so much flavour and I loved them so much in this novel.

It’s easy to say that this novel is among my favourites now. I bought the rest of the series as soon as I finished this first book, and I can’t wait to read it all. I desperately need more people to fall in love with this novel too – so pick it up, damnit!

Fool’s Gold gets a score of 5/5. Perfect for fans of D&D and not fans of D&D – basically it’s amazing.

Yours in writing


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