Posted on November 4, 2009 by Steven Dawes
Available at DriveThruHorror.com
A Canterbury Tale Told in Verse
Written by Paul A. Freeman
Review by Steven Dawes
Offering of an eBook novel for me to review.
“What’s this? A new tale of the great Robin Hood
As a zombie killer?!” Now this should be good!
Tis a different style of novel, for better or for worse
For this Canterbury tale is told entirely in verse.
About this unique take on Friar Tuck and Robin Hood
As they deal with a hoard of zombies and their maw’s
Their horrible stench, their appetite and also their claws.
A zombie outbreak on Saxon soil… really, what’s the deal?
It seemed silly at first that Robin Hood’s latest plight
Would be saving all of England from an evil zombie blight.
In my head, the framework of my review was ready to concede
That this strange angle on Robin Hood would be silly indeed.
And yet as I read the novel, to my very surprise I could tell
That this tale wasn’t a mockery… it was actually quite swell!
To a crowded tavern of many people supping on wine and beer.
Between his swigs of the tavern’s free flowing ale
A horrible story of undead monsters was the theme of his tale.
It starts on familiar ground as King Richard was away
Dealing with the Palestine’s and leading a spiritual fray.
Back home his brother Price John, with an evil smirk
Plotted the steal Richards’s kingdom, man what a jerk!
To fund his alliances, the heart and soul he’d tax
Out of the poor peasantry who all paid by the sacks
Of coins and trinkets made of silver and gold
That is, until one day came a man who was brave and bold.
He stood up to all those oppressive Norman lords
By using thievery, bows, arrows and swords.
The prince of thieves himself; Robin of the Hood.
But the change in the story begins with a familiar friar
Who’s warned Robin and his merry men as he built himself a fire
That a plague is spreading over the land and causing much strife
As it brings those dead with the infection back to life!
These fiends rise from the dead and then feed on the flesh
Of those who were still living and therefore still tasted fresh.
Of the undead as if they were a juicy steak or a cut of veal.
Fortunately Friar Tuck has experience in dealing with the undead
And explained the only way to kill them was to aim for the head.
“You must sharpen your swords, and take up your mace
To cut off their heads, or bash them in the face.”
To stop that hellish creature from feeding its belly
With the flesh and guts of those still living
So take your weapons in hand and then start giving
A merciful ending to those in undead guise
To save the town of Nottingham from an untimely demise!”
Like Little John and Maid Marion to give Robin a hand.
With arrows, mace and sword upon the zombies they struck
But most impressive to me was the combat prowess of Friar Tuck.
His skill with a staff was fierce and with a loud “thunk”
He caved in zombie brains like he was some warrior monk!
I know now to never underestimate a stout and balding drunk
Who wields a staff with such proficiency as this fighting monk!
So I encourage you to get a copy and then sit a spell
And read word for word Paul A. Freeman’s worthy craft
Whose eloquent and clever verses make mine all look daft.
At the end of the story Paul’s got another treat in store for you
For he added in some amusing pieces which he calls “Horrid Haiku”
It’s a fun and easy read and only about eighty pages
This masterpiece of verse and haiku is one for the ages!
And take a bow, as the minstrel of reviews named Steven Dawes.