The Outsorcerer's Apprentice (YouSpace #3) by Tom Holt - Book Review

Write on: Sun, 28 Nov 2021 by  in Assaph's Reviews Read 551

Every time I read one of Holt's books (often under his KJ Parker pen-name), I end up loving it. Since I was in the mood for light fantasy and he's known for that, I picked this one up from my TBR.

What to Expect

With a deft pen, Holt packs a lot into a fantasy novel - unique world-building, loveable characters, social commentary, humour. The novel starts as a twisty fairytale world, and progresses into the differential economics in fantasy and the real world.

What I liked

Absolutely loved the tone, with pop references and understated humour. Holt shows how fantasy can be, an excellent example of speculative fiction. This is simply a book you can enjoy at whichever way you like, but enjoy it you will.

What to be aware of

This isn't a grand epic, neither does it contain abysmal villains. This is a rather more intimate fantasy story, light on the surface but to deep enough to make you think about the fantasy worlds you read and your relationship to them.

Felix's Review

Felix did find the whole concept of fantasy economies bizarre, though he agrees about the importance of a happy workforce (that from a man coming from a society where slavery is the norm). He missed a bit of the 'big bad wolf' references, but that didn't prevent him from relating to the various characters.


A very enjoyable read, entertaining and not taxing. I found out Holt has other books in that world, which I intend to read soon (they don't seem too interrelated for the reading order to matter).

Enjoying the reviews, but wondering who the heck is that Felix fellow? Glad you asked! He's the protagonist of the Togas, Daggers, and Magic series, an historical-fantasy blend of a paranormal detective on the background of ancient Rome.

Last modified on Sunday, 28 November 2021 10:43

Assaph has been a bibliophile since he learnt to read at the age of five, and a Romanophile ever since he first got his hands on Asterix, way back in elementary school. This exacerbated when his parents took him on a trip to Rome and Italy - he whinged horribly when they dragged him to "yet another church with baby angels on the ceiling", yet was happy to skip all day around ancient ruins and museums for Etruscan art. 

He has since been feeding his addiction for books with stories of mystery and fantasy of all kinds. A few years ago he randomly picked a copy of a Lindsay Davis' Marcus Didius Falco novel in a used book fair, and fell in love with Rome all over again, this time from the view-point of a cynical adult. His main influences in writing are Steven Saylor, Lindsey Davis, Barry Hughart and Boris Akunin. 

Assaph now lives in Sydney, Australia with his wife, kids, cats, and - this being Australia - assorted spiders. By day he is a software product manager, bridging the gap between developers and users, and by night he's writing - he seems to do his best writing after midnight.



Twitter: @assaphmehr