The Tipsy Pelican Tavern Series

The Tipsy Pelican Tavern series is an English fantasy series in the tradition of Japan’s light novels. I happened upon the series quite by accident while searching for a new light novel to read on Kindle. The alluring blonde on the cover drew me in and, for $3 (I think that’s what I paid then, it’s $5 now), it seemed worth a shot. The premise of the series starts with the legendary hero Archibold Stormblood faking his death in order to live in obscurity as a tavern owner. In this world, people gain extraordinary powers by opening “gates” within themselves. These gates give the user additional awareness, strength, stamina, speed, and magical powers. The number of gates someone has opened is apparent to any individual capable of using magic, so Stormblood closed all of his gates. (Stormblood had opened nine. To put that in perspective, an individual with three gates open is very rare.) A tavern keeper with even one gate open is unheard of, and its existence would blow his cover.

Although Archie would love to lead a quiet life of crafting new brews and pleasing his patrons along with his longtime servant Charm his new employee Elsa, trouble seeks him out in the form of the Templar Cassia. (In true light novel fashion, Archie attracts more nubile women to his acquaintance over the course of these two novels.) Cassia realizes Archie’s true identity and tries to enlist him in a quest to defeat an elder dragon. Archie refuses, but Cassia persists–even taking a job at the Tipsy Pelican Tavern in order to stay close to him.

While refusing this epic quest, local crime in the form of villainous nobles and child abduction force Archie out of his self-imposed vacation. In helping Cassia with these problems, he realizes that large and nefarious interests are at play in his city of Meritas. The reader wonders for just how long Archie can keep up his facade of being an ordinary tavern owner. At some point, the threats against his city will multiply to such an extent that he will have to open his gates and resume the mantle of the Hero Stormblood–thus ending his little “vacation.”

The two volumes of this series have amusingly long titles in the vein of the light novel tradition: 1) Even a Hero Needs a Vacation Every Now and Then, and 2) Everyone Knows You Shouldn’t Rescue Maidens in Alleyways. August’s (the author’s pen name) storytelling capabilities only get stronger in the second volume–and I thoroughly enjoyed both. I don’t know about you, dear reader, but a good light novel is hard to find. I’d rate August’s two works at ★★★1/2 and ★★★★ respectively. They are fun with very likable characters. Also, they exude a pleasant, Millennial vibe in their love of craft beer, suspicion of authority, and embrace of living an simple and ordinary life. While my generation is defective in many respects, no other extant generation boasts such congeniality in person. The novels seem to encapsulate the positive aspects of my generation, which adds to the joy in reading them.

As to content warnings, you’ll find the most of the sexuality on the covers. The content of the stories are clean and in good taste. The characters do make oaths, but I care as much about someone saying “By Celeru!” as someone exclaiming “By Pollux!” or “Great Caesar’s Ghost!” The action can become violent, but gory details are avoided. One wishes that all writers adhered as much to the rules of good taste in what they depict and what they refrain from describing!

So, there you have my hearty endorsement for the Tipsy Pelican Tavern Series. I hope that the light novel fans among my readers pick it up.

3 comments on “The Tipsy Pelican Tavern Series

  1. Ooh, this brings me back to a review I made of a light novel from my locale, one written in Tagalog. It’s titled Black Blood, written by Nald Tabuzo. It’s some darker stuff, but I find it a pretty impressive effort that resonates with my own writing style as well. I wouldn’t mind seeing my locale trying to write something that draws from the light novel tradition with lighter tones, though. 😀

    Liked by 1 person

    • It really does show the success of the light novel that people in so many cultures want to imitate that genre. Perfect for when one doesn’t want to think too hard about what one’s reading. 🙂

      I can’t wait for a third volume in the series to be released.

      Liked by 1 person

      • Speaking of thinking hard, that reminds me of, if I remember correctly, how video games inspired light novels. And how vacation’s a change of occupation to me. We still think hard, but differently, and it can be good or it can be bad. 😀

        Liked by 1 person

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