Either way, Rumo is an impelling read. The storyline is elaborate with large sections of exposition and enriching backstory. The protagonist is Rumo, a wolperting (a fierce warrior dog with horns who walks upright). He is assisted by his worldly mentor Smyke (a shark grub) and his talking sword with two conflicting (and hilarious) personalities. The creatures in the book are unlike any I’ve seen before; whereas most fantasy stories borrow monsters from traditional tales, Moers invents so many that are utterly original, not to mention frightening and bloodthirsty. In addition, the book is filled with fantastic drawings and maps.
There’s not room here to summarize the plot, and it would be impossible to do so without spoilers. The gore and violence classify it as an adult book, but it’s also full of dry humor and camaraderie. There are themes of bravery and self sacrifice, but you spend little time considering the moral implications because the action never lags. Rumo is a long book (700 pages), so voracious readers like me don’t have to worry that the experience will end too soon. Just be sure you’re in the mood for the bizarre!
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