Once a respected wizard, Finster is now a drunkard and a con man living anonymously amongst simple, easily manipulated village folk. But his self-serving cunning cannot save him when soldiers of the Magus Supremeus of the High Order burst in to drag the disreputable mage to the dreaded Red Citadel.
Finster’s captor, the new Magus, is none other than Ingrid the Insane, his former acolyte, a young woman of cold heart and ruthless ambition who has already murdered numerous magic-doers in her quest for ultimate power. The only reason Finster still lives is Ingrid’s belief that he knows the whereabouts of the Founders Stone, a magical artifact that could make her invincible.
Rendered powerless by a scarab beetle attached to his back, Finster realizes he is doomed unless he escapes and recovers the Stone before Ingrid does, and he turns to his dungeon cellmate for help. But the hulking, mute, barbarian youth he calls “Moth” is inscrutable and unpredictable. And their ultimate survival—and the survival of an entire kingdom—may require the cowardly wizard to assume a most unfamiliar and uncomfortable role: hero!
Oh, this was fun. Fast-talking, irreverent wizards are the best wizards, first of all. The Scarab’s Curse was non-stop action that had me frantically flipping pages. It might be a touch too gory for some – let’s just say that there’s a lot of blunt-force trauma and swords flying around.
If you don’t mind that, though, I think this is a nice one-sitting read for fans of swords and sorcery. Check it out!