The Last Crusader: Attack of the Goblins
by Jeffrey Loefer
Stratton Press

"’How do you know we’ll beat you?’ Brock confronted the beast.
‘Even we trolls know we’re looking at people of legends.’"

Wearing his gold and silver guild leader armor, Gregor announces to the other warriors in the crusaders guild that it is the time of year the goblin menace typically appears. Brock, Joe, Maddie, and Matt, along with the other members, believe they are ready for any incursions the goblins might make. However, when scouts Bif and Kif are reconnoitering Red River Woods, they quickly learn that the goblins have much bigger plans and a much larger force. Their intention is a war to clear the lands of the human presence. With the goblins in pursuit, the scouts realize they must warn the guild members and citizens of the nearby town. This information particularly shakes Brock because he just had a dream about a massive goblin attack that left scores of humans and goblins dead, with one lone crusader valiantly fighting against an overwhelming force of goblins.

Loefer’s fantasy novella is a quick, easy read at approximately 77 pages. It features many fantasy tropes, including an evil horde and “the chosen ones.” The writing is centered on the action scenes. These scenes are orchestrated in the manner one would imagine coming from a teenaged Dungeons and Dragons gaming session, including back-flips, slam attacks, beheadings, and sudden, mystical powers. The quick action is hampered by multiple grammatical errors and a jarring mix of modern slang in a medieval setting. However, there is a tongue-in-cheek feel to the tale that can deliver a fun read. Characters whine and complain to the goblins attacking them, and one character even tells a troll to take a “breath mint herb.” Readers who enjoy this lighter take on the fantasy genre can look forward to the next episode in Loefer’s story which is nodded to at the story’s conclusion.

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