'The Part About the Dragon was (Mostly) True' by Sean Gibson.. could just be called.. 'Well.. There WAS a Dragon, but More Importantly, There's was a Bard with a Fantastic Can.' And honestly, I'd be perfectly fine with that title too.
Basically the story follows a handsome (Mostly.. see what I did there?) group of adventurers who have minimal experience, but a lot of heart as they set out to aid the village/town.. er.. townage of Skendrick in their time of need. It seems they've been set upon by a vicious dragon that periodically lays waste to.. well, read the book and you'll see. The point is.. they're desperate for help and our fair heroes see an opportunity to grow their reputation while maybe pocketing some treasure.. thanks in no small part to Heloise.
Who's Heloise, you say? Only one of the most amusing voices to grace the pages of fantasy fiction.. who also happens to be our first-person fourth-wall-breaking narrator.. and to hear her tell it, an incomparable beauty with an unequaled gift for storytelling. Heloise, the Bard.
Being as my favorite bard is Jaskier from the Witcher series, my expectations are set pretty high. That said, no character has ever reached a pinnacle worth mentioning in connection.. until now.
Even if this story had been uninteresting, I would have loved it through Heloise's eyes. I mean, clearly.. and you'll see why if you give it a chance. There's nothing she can't dress up and make more appealing, other than maybe Whiska. (But she CAN be made more exciting, and that's something our bard excels at.) And she does dress up pretty much everything for public consumption.
Truly, our narrator is hilarious and charismatic, brags casually without being annoying (I mean.. AT ALL), and both versions of the story she tells (the TRUTH and the MYTH) are entertaining.
Nadi, the fearless elven leader of the adventuring group, is a true warrior. She's a little too serious, which makes her a perfect contrast to.. well.. everyone else in the group. She's also probably the most competent overall, but well.. ditto on my last comment. Rounding out our collection of adventurers are Rummy.. the interminably good-humored half-dwarf/half-elfling and the butt of most of the size jokes, Borg.. the sweet, slow.. rock man of huge physical proportions, and Whiska.. the Ratarian wizard with one seriously bad attitude.
They go together a bit like fire and gasoline, which makes for plenty of tense times that are guaranteed to leave you laughing. As a group, they're uniquely gifted at making their lives more complicated than they need to be and getting themselves into more than they can handle, which makes it all the more interesting to see if they can get out of it.
I can't praise the story enough. If you want something light-hearted and fun to read, that will zip by quickly.. but still want to feel like you got the content you hoped for, this is definitely the book you should pick up.