Author: Andrew Rowe
Add it to your shelf: Goodreads
“Listening Length: 5 hours and 28 minutes
For thousands of years, there has been a cycle: a Demon King rises and conquers, and a Hero is reborn a hundred years later to defeat him. Each time, civilizations are ground to dust beneath the Demon King’s hordes, but humanity has remained secure in the belief that a Hero of legend will always save them. There’s just one slight problem. It’s only been 23 years since the Demon King’s latest rise, and this time, he’s already conquered more than half the world. If humanity simply waits for the Hero’s return, there may be no world left for him to save.
And so, Yui Shaw sets out with an ambitious plan. A 10-step plan.
She’ll find a way to obtain the Hero’s legendary sword. She’ll earn obscure classes, gain levels, and increase her skills. She’ll travel to the meticulously-crafted dungeons that seem designed for one specific Hero to complete. And, if she’s truly (un)fortunate, she might even find a fairy.
She might not be a Hero—but if she can fake it long enough, she might still be able to save the world.”
Every month Audible gives a credit to use for any audiobook you want, this month I wasn’t sure what I was looking for. I was looking at Becoming by Michelle Obama, but I decided I would wait on that and go with something a little lighter and more carefree. I decided to check out the book that was at the top of the fantasy charts, and that was the Audible original How to Defeat a Demon King in Ten Easy Steps. It was a cheesy title and it had comments that described it as taking inspiration from The Legend of Zelda, Dragon Quest, and Final Fantasy, which was more than enough to have me sold.
The book really does make references to the aforementioned video games at every turn, but it does so in a cheeky way without ever actually mentioning any of them. For instance, our hero Yui eventually dons a green “Hero’s Tunic” and “Archer’s Hat” which is said to be the traditional garb that every hero has worn in the past. It is these little details that create such an endearing experience for fans of rpgs and fantasy video games in general.
The story follows Yui Shaw as she sets out on a quest to defeat the Demon King in the absence of a real hero. She goes about it in a unique way to try and obtain the hero’s sword which has been planted in stone waiting for the arrival of the true hero. She ends up choosing a class which at first glance doesn’t seem to be able to help in anyway but through leveling it high enough she just might be able to make it work. She becomes partners with an old man named Ken at the sword shrine who respects the traditions of the hero’s journey and wants to do things by the book, something Yui doesn’t see the importance of.
The two have an interesting dynamic that plays out in humorous scenarios that lead to the two of them questioning the traditions of the long-time video game tropes such as dungeons and needing the traditional weapons a hero might use like a boomerang and bow and arrow. Yui goes out of her way at every chance to test the boundaries of the world and the so-called “rules” that govern the journey the hero must take. Ken all but has a nervous breakdown at the prospect of doing things in a new way even if they do prove to be more effective.
I also really enjoyed the way they explained the leveling system in the world. Everything you do gives experience and fighting against monsters is one of the most obvious ways to build it up. Eventually if you do something enough you unlock the corresponding class that you can then work to level up on its own, so you have your overall level and then separate class levels. Each time you level up you get to choose which of your classes you will level up, which means you are able to pour your points into multiple classes if you so choose.
In all honesty this is the perfect book for me to review on this blog, with the way that it completely converges the worlds of traditional books and video games. The book really does feel like someone narrating the events of a video game and as someone who loves video games as much as I do, I found it to be completely enjoyable from start to finish it. I can wholeheartedly recommend this one to anyone looking to listen to a book that will let them relive their old favorite video game stories with a fresh twist.
As always, thank you so much for reading! I appreciate all the traffic my blog has been getting as of late, and I am grateful to each and every one of you! If you liked my review or you think this is a book you would be interested in let me know in the comments, I am also going to start reaching out to bloggers for my next entry in my interview series so please let me know if you or someone you know would like to be involved at all! Check back (at least) every Wednesday and Saturday for new posts and sign-up via email to make sure you never miss a thing!