Book Review: Gunthar and the Jaguar Queen by Steve Dilks

I checked this out because I’m keen to read a few more fantasy novels and this was cheap on the Kindle. It also looked to be a quick, easy read and in that respect it was an accurate assessment.

To say Dilks owes a debt to Edgar Rice Burroughs (the Barsoom series particularly) and Robert E. Howard (Conan) is putting it mildly. He’s so far into their debt the muse bailiffs are probably pounding at his door.


The novella follows Gunthar, a thief and swordsman on a dying planet who is hired to steal the black flame, said to hold the secret of eternal youth. Joined by a female warrior and a pirate, Gunthar sets off across the desert and sea to the land of the Jaguar Queen.

Who is this mysterious woman? How are they supposed to steal her treasured possesion from beneath the eyes of her ape-like subjects? Can they trust each other, or their employer?

I quite enjoyed this book because it was quick and easy, and I flew through it. It lacks depth and is a bit simplistic, but as a sword and sorcery piece it works well enough to pass the time.

I’ll check out more of Dilks’ work, but on this evidence he falls short of his forebears.

Verdict: Fun and easy if lacking flair and surprises. Overly simple in places, but entertaining enough. 5/10.

Any thoughts? You know what to do. BETEO.

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