Book #1 of the King Henry Tapes Series
by Richard Raley
Genre: Urban Fantasy
Rating: ★★★★★ (5 stars)
King Henry Price is fourteen, he loves everything he’s not supposed to and hates everything he’s supposed to. One day after his usual hour of detention he comes home to find an enigmatic woman named Ceinwyn Dale sitting in his kitchen, telling his parents lies about a special reform school. What she tells King Henry is different, she tells him he’s a mancer, a Geomancer to be exact, that he’s special, one in million maybe. She sure ain’t a fairy giant and King Henry sure as hell ain’t Harry Potter, but why not? Got to be better than the life he’s already got.
King Henry Price is twenty-two, a recent graduate of the Asylum as an Artificer. With the special ability to create lasting items of the Mancy, he’s spurned the Artificer’s Guild and struck out on his own to found an Artificer workshop looking to do things his way. One night, a vampire baroness claiming she’s named Anne Boleyn walks into his shop, telling King Henry he’s going to help her, and she’s not taking ‘no’ for an answer. King Henry is pretty sure the whole name thing is just a joke, but only pretty sure…
Okay, before we get to the nitty gritty, let me just tell you what Raley’s elevator pitch is for his book: Harry Potter meets Pulp Fiction. So, you can say my mind was officially blown from that little statement. How the heck can a book be the combination of these two totally opposite films/books? Well, Raley did the impossible because I can’t think of a better statement that sums up this book.
The Foul Mouth and the Fanged Lady is now all cozy in my shelf of the top ten favorite books I have ever read. As I was reading this book, I kept pestering the author with my annoyances, for he has no right to be this talented. I want his brain now. But I doubt he is willing to trade, so I guess I will just do my job and write my review.
This book is effing awesome. Sorry, had to get my semi-curse in. Read the book and you will know why.
The whole book is about King Henry Price recalling his time in Asylum and his later adventures on a voice recording. It was a brilliant way to organize this book because we get to enjoy the foul mouth fourteen year old King Henry as he is just learning what he is capable of and the twenty-two year old King Henry who can now kick-some major butt with his honed skills.
You cannot read this book and not find King Henry one of the most interesting characters ever. He’s hilarious, smart-mouthed, and has mad skills both in fighting and as an Artificer. You never doubt that he can take care of himself, but you have to love the support he so often receives from Ceinwyn Dale, the Institution of Elements recruiter. Their relationship really was both hysterical and adorable. Dale kind of takes the guardian role that King Henry so sorely needs. His parents aren’t the best role models and the whole story with his mom is just sad.
Then there’s Annie B (Anne Boleyn). At first you’re not sure how to feel about her. She’s as ruthless as she is beautiful. And as Annie B and King Henry get to know each other, they form this kind of “trust”, and I use the term loosely, that make them a badass pair.
The plot was somewhat simple which I liked because I wasn’t spending my time trying to figure out a complicated mess that distracts from the enjoyment of reading a good book. But the world Raley has created is not at all simple. It’s intricate and well researched. We get a scientific spin on the world of Mancy and the vampires were just scary. I have never read a more interesting version of a vampire in all the 300 books I have read about vampires.
The pace was smooth, the action was well written, and the description was well blended to make one absorbing read that I personally couldn’t put down.
I really loved everything about this book. Though it may not be for everyone because it is a little different from the norm, it really worked for me. So if you are even 10% like me (a little odd, loves to laugh, obsessed with all thing urban fantasy) then you will love this book. I should mention the language. There is a lot of foul language, but without it, it simply wouldn’t be the same book. It was needed.
Sex is insinuated but no actual sex scenes. King Henry is a gentleman, he doesn’t kiss and tell. Hahahahaha. Sorry, tried to keep a straight face but couldn’t last. Gentleman and King Henry are three words that shouldn’t be used in the same sentence.
I am officially a Raley fan. He is an amazing writer that has created something unique in the urban fantasy genre. I loved everything about the book. King Henry was an out-of-the-box character that almost anybody can love. The secondary characters were both scary and fascinating. This book will make you laugh out loud, which I did often. Just want to take this time to apologize to those around me as I read this book. I know my laugh can be kinda scary…and loud. But it’s who I am, stop hating. Anyways, The Foul Mouth and the Fanged Lady is a must read. Highly recommended.