CBR Bingo: Friendship
What a wonderful little book, and perfect for the Friendship square in Bingo. The Assassination of Brangwain Spurge takes place in a world where elves and goblins live in neighboring countries with an uneasy truce after centuries of war and invasions. It begins with the elfin historian, Brangwain Spurge, on a mission to goblin country to offer a gift to the goblin king. He also has a second, secret mission–to spy on the goblins and report back to elfin high command.
When Brangwain arrives in the goblin city his assigned host is a goblin historian, Werfel. Werfel is ECSTATIC to meet a fellow historian and bond over their shared interests (ecstatic is putting it mildly), but a series of diplomatic gaffes and social missteps kill those dreams, and eventually end up with Brangwain and Werfel running for their lives, chased by a murderous goblin, as war between the elves and goblins looms.
My description absolutely does not do justice to this book, which is just so fun, funny, and silly. Brangwain’s top secret transmissions are presented throughout the book as illustrations, but his impressions of the goblin kingdom tell a completely different story than the narrative we hear from Werfel. I started off listening to the audiobook (which I recommend wholeheartedly), but when I checked it out from the library I didn’t get access to the pdf of illustrations, which are supposed to accompany the audiobook. I felt like I was missing so much of the book (the audiobook narrator tells you when to stop and look at the pdf for illustrations), that I ended up just buying a physical copy. The audiobook narrator is fantastic, but don’t do audio unless you can also see the illustrations, which are wonderful, and so funny when when seen in contrast to what we’re hearing from Werfel.
I chose this book for the Friendship square because Werfel and Brangwain’s relationship is the best part of the book. With not much more in common than a love of history and a mutual desire to avoid being murdered, their relationship evolves from cold courtesy to outright disdain to cooperation, to finally, mutual respect and care. It’s really, just, nice, and I thoroughly enjoyed the whole book.