Book Review: Redcap, Whitecap, Goblin, Thief
Reviewed by Tucker Lieberman
In a city of Fae magic, a criminal Goblin hopes he can trust a sexy cop.
Redcap, Whitecap, Goblin, Thief is a Fae urban fantasy by Vaughn R. Demont. It’s told by the Goblin, and the story never breaks character. It’s Nick’s urban Goblin voice all the way. If you’re enchanted by societies of ancestral magic and characters who speak with modern sensibilities, you’ll have fun with this novel.
Once upon a time, Fae people existed in the open, but now they find it safer to hide. There had been troubles: “War, of course. Uprisin’. Revolutions. Humans risin’ and mythics hidin’ until the humans decided that all of us didn’t exist anymore.” The Fae magic lost a lot of its power, but it’s not completely gone.
Some types of Fae folk are half-human, but—you should know—there’s no such thing as half-Goblin. Human women have human babies, and a Goblin woman will always give birth to a fully Goblin child. (Nick offers this explanation “before you ask,” appending a “yer welcome.”)
Nick is a blue-haired, green-skinned Goblin. He has “a witch nose and jacked up feet and creepy eyes,” he admits, embarrassed by his own appearance. Not to mention his big ears, which are sexually sensitive. He’s short, and he “had to get [his] teeth filed and capped so [he] wouldn’t get beat up by the other kids in first grade.” Less spooky, more goofy.
He grew up learning how to steal. His father taught him: “Black hoodie, hood up, crouched down, shoes off, gloves on. Pa felt I needed to work on learnin’ stealth, so he’d turn off the lights in the house, and I’d have to sneak up on him. If I did it, I got a cookie.” So, he has skills, but in this story, he is in a pickle. As he puts it, he’s “a burglar tryin’ to clear his name of a double murder that’s actually a quadruple.”
Nick is gay, and his high sex drive is a central motivator in this story. He feels the heat with Thom, an attractive police officer who had a human mother and a Phouka father. Is it a match? Well, “Goblin and Phouka isn’t the Fae pairing that anyone writes tales about,” Nick says aloud to Thom, skeptical of his sincerity. To his surprise, Thom really is interested in him—and not just as a “practice guy.”
But Nick’s Goblin nature is not the only impediment. He’s a thief, too. A cop and a criminal—can it work?
There is sexual action, at turns sexy, tender, and funny. Nick is amazed by Thom’s interest: “Satyrs are less horny than this.” Nick also accidentally witnesses a gay betrothal as Cerulius Iceheart, Earl of Elmswood, proposes to Jonathan of Clan Sogodjur, a half-Troll. We share Nick’s curiosity about his unpredictable, magical world, and we cringe right along with him at his quandaries.
You don’t need any background expertise in Goblins or Trolls to explore this city. Fantasy readers have a lot to enjoy in this escapist romp.
Genre: Science Fiction & Fantasy / Urban Fantasy
Print Length: 264 pages
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