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The Marauders, the Daughter, and the Dragon by K.R.R. Lockhaven

Episode 55

Release Date: August 17, 2022

Your hosts were thrilled to finally talk about “The Marauders, the Daughter, and the Dragon” by KRRLockhaven. They discuss emotional breadth, having cozy moments without being “cozy fantasy,” and the high stakes of personal loss. They also visit the pet peeve corner, where Sara complains about how no one but Lockhaven seems to have figured out an enjoyable way to include songs in books (yes, we’re looking at you, Tolkien).

More from KRRL on Twitter and on his website

Find the book on Amazon here

Thanks to the following musicians for the use of their songs:

- Amarià for the use of “Sérénade à Notre Dame de Paris”

- Josh Woodward for the use of “Electric Sunrise”

Licensed under Creative Commons: By Attribution 4.0 License


Episode Transcript*

*this transcript is AI generated, please excuse the mess.

Lilly 00:04

Hello, and welcome to fiction bands, the podcast where we read books. And words to I'm leaving that in just for fun.

Sara 00:12

I'm sorry, I still have my COVID off.

Lilly 00:17

I mean, yeah, obviously upset that you have the COVID cough, but more with the concept and less with the editing.

Sara 00:26

I mean, I've I've made you edit out so much coughing that like you're allowed to be a little annoyed by it. Not Not me necessarily, because it's not my fault.

Lilly 00:37

I have many reasons to be annoyed that you have a COVID cough and only some of them are self interested.

Sara 00:45

But if I had to edit the podcast, I would be annoyed at how much I cough too.

Lilly 00:50

Well, you're not doing it on purpose. Wait, you're not doing it on purpose, right?

Sara 00:55

I'm not doing it on purpose.

Lilly 00:59

All right. Well, I already said Hello, and welcome to fiction fans. We are talking about oh, boy, what is the full title there it is. The Marauders, the daughter and the dragon by k r r Lock Haven. But before we get into that conversation, Sara, what's something great that happened recently?

Sara 01:20

I will answer that question in a minute. I feel like I should redeem you a little bit about forgetting the title. Because when we first read this book, it did have a different title. I was gonna

Lilly 01:31

cut that but okay. You can now you still can cut it.

Sara 01:40

So something great that happened to me. There's a little bit of a backstory with this. A year ago, I went on the backpacking trip with my father, which was lots of fun, had a great time. But when I got home, the pair of not hiking shoes, but like shoes, like car shoes that I had brought on the trip, which are like nice flat, I mean, not fancy flats, but like comfortable flats. Yeah, I couldn't find them. I was really bummed. Like, I checked my father's car. I checked my trail pack. I checked, like the bag that I had just had in the car. Essentially, I checked everywhere, couldn't find him. Dad and I are going on another backpacking trip. And we were gonna go on a backpacking trip the week that I COVID. So I packed for the trip before then. And then caught COVID And obviously we canceled the backpacking trip. But we rescheduled that. So I went back to my bag to like just double check that I had packed everything that I wanted to and you know, make sure that everything was all set. And in the process of unpacking to then repack, I did find those shoes. were worth not in the bag. The first three times that

Lilly 02:50

I looked, well the fairies brought your shoes back. So that is good. Yes,

Sara 02:55

I was really I was really thrilled. Like I I missed the shoes. I thought about buying a second pair or like replacement pair and never got around to it. And now I'm glad that I didn't.

Lilly 03:07

But if you had bought a replacement pair, you would have found them sooner.

Sara 03:11

Well, that's true, too. Yeah.

Lilly 03:13

I voted today. Always a good thing. Yes, definitely a good thing. It's the primary so not like they're not gonna say not important because of course all Voting is important, but much simpler than when we have the full ballot and there's 5000 million little things we have to research what they all are. But yeah, did that walk it down to the vote box? Washington is cool. We everyone has I get off it's Washington or King County. Up here. Everyone does absentee voting like it's not an option to do in person. And there's a bazillion boxes like ballot boxes all over the place. So we just walked to the closest one and I got some exercise voted. did buy burritos on the way home.

Sara 04:00

So so excellent day all around. Exactly.

Lilly 04:05

And what are we drinking tonight?

Sara 04:07

I'm just drinking white wine. You promised that you had a concoction? That you were drinking that you were going to explain on air.

Lilly 04:16

Yes, I have my my weird drink. So apparently, I guess there are these things called apple cider vinegar. seltzers now that are like non alcoholic seltzers but they're like mocktails

Sara 04:30

I mean, that makes sense. Because you can use a fruit shrub to make like with soda water, whatever to make a drink. A fruit shrub is just a fruit vinegar. So So Apple Cider Vinegar is a fruit vinegar. Yeah. So it makes sense. Well, I

Lilly 04:45

did not buy a can of that because No, I have a bottle of apple cider vinegar. So I did just pour like a tablespoon of apple cider vinegar into bubbly water with some ice then it feels very fancy. Doesn't taste good. It grows on you. I like savory cocktails. So probably I am predisposed to like it. I have no idea of apple cider vinegar is actually as good for you as some of the crunchy hippie blogs say, but it's probably not bad for you, right?

Sara 05:20

That's probably a solid thesis.

Lilly 05:23

So it is just a way of having a fancy drink without pumping poison into my body. So that's a plus.

Sara 05:30

That is why I like using fruity shrub when I feel like quote, unquote, having a drink, but I want don't want to have anything alcoholic, because half the fun isn't like making the drink.

Lilly 05:43

Oh, yeah, I feel the same way like iced tea is such an involved process that it's almost like, I don't know, self care. I'm putting this much work into a drink just for the hell of it.

Sara 05:53


Lilly 05:54

I agree. It's not like absolutely delicious. It's pretty refreshing. I like savory cocktails. So if you don't you probably wouldn't like this.

Sara 06:04

Yeah, I think it's a little more savory than what I have had. And with with mine, when I am making something with plum shrub. I do usually add a little bit of simple syrup to it. This week made up a little bit. Yeah, I don't I don't sweeten this. It does sound cool and refreshing for those hot hot days.

Lilly 06:24

My ice already melted though.

Sara 06:28

Oh, that reminds me of my other good thing, which is it rained. We got to little cloudbursts for a grand total of about five minutes of rain. But there was water. The streets were visibly wet. For a short period of time. It was very exciting.

Lilly 06:49

Moving on to some actual book content. Have you read anything good lately?

Sara 06:54

I have I read. Oh God, I need to look up the name the second Marketing Robot book by Becky Chambers something something crowned shy.

Lilly 07:03

I'm sorry, Monk and robot. Did I hear that correctly?

Sara 07:07

You did hear that correctly. Okay, a prayer for the Crown Shai. This is the second novella that follows these two characters, a tea monk who goes around essentially serving tea to people and like providing a listening ear and a robot. But she finds deep in the forest, who wants to, like the robots are ready to start interacting with people again. And so this robot has set out to find people and and wants to ask what they need. And it is this very cozy fantasy feel good. When you read it. It feels like sitting down curling up in your favorite place with your favorite people or pets. And having a mug of hot tea. It's just so soothing and relaxing. I think I liked this book even more than I liked the first book, which is hard to talk. I thought the first book was excellent. But yeah, so I read that it was great.

Lilly 08:05

That seems to be her niche. Just yeah. Cozy feel good.

Sara 08:11

Yeah, this is definitely sci fi. And not fantasy, but it's not space sci fi. It's like very not earth because they're not necessarily on Earth. But it's very, like planet grounded. Yeah, community centric. I mean, I guess there's an element of found family too. But like, I think it's more community based than the one book in the wayfarer series that we covered, which was very sound family. Yeah. If that makes sense. I have not

Lilly 08:41

read a single thing. I keep looking at my bookshelf as gonna change that.

Sara 08:52

I mean, to be fair, it's been a little busy with home renovation. Yeah. And your parents visiting. Yeah. And like, honestly, that trumps reading. I agree. Or at least it does when you like your parents.

Lilly 09:09

We are blessed in the parent department. We both are Yes. Speaking of parent departments. That's a bad transition. It wasn't a bad transition. But it was it was a bad transition. I mean, it was appropriate. We are discussing the Marauders, the daughter and the dragon. Did I get that order correctly?

Sara 09:30

I did. You did.

Lilly 09:32

I always want to pluralize daughters, the marauders? The daughters? Hmm, there was only one daughter in this book. Well, I guess technically there's are all of them in our daughter. You know what I mean?

Sara 09:48

I do. I do know what you mean. But there is the titular daughter. Yes. In this book,

Lilly 09:55

I mean, Pirate Princess fights bigotry. Is that like just the a tagline for this?

Sara 10:02

I think it might be. Yeah. We were very, very lucky to actually beta read a copy of this book before, like it was, you know, available for arcs or anything. And it was fantastic. We both loved it. So understandably, now that it is available for arcs, and is coming out, I should check the release date. Yes, it comes out August 20. So if you are listening to this episode, when we release the episode, you still have three days to preorder, which you should, because it's a fantastic book. And I forget where I was going with this. But I think it was just that we were very thrilled to be talking about it. On the podcast,

Lilly 10:42

we've spent an awful lot of time talking about it. So now we just get to do it recorded.

Sara 10:47

Exactly. Given that we talked about The Conjuring of South Africa, which was lock havens, first book. And we have discussed that on the podcast, I think it's worth doing some comparison to it for when it comes to this book. This is definitely I loved the continent of South Africa. Like I don't want to imply otherwise. Because it was great. It was a lot of fun. But this is definitely like a more thoughtful and mature novel, I think, than that one was.

Lilly 11:19

I mean, The Conjuring of xOP Alpha Rex is a barrel of laughs Yes, but it sure never made me cry. Unlike this book.

Sara 11:28

Yes. I think that book is like you say a lot of fun. But this book feels like it has much more character growth to it.

Lilly 11:39

There's a lot more emotional depth. Yes. xuer, the main character is dealing with a politician who is trying to be really super racist, is successfully really super racist.

Sara 11:57

He has run on this platform of anti human bigotry. And he intends to do bad them's basically and yeah, he's just a huge, great a bigot.

Lilly 12:11

And so xuer to try to stop him gets to join the marauders. And then we get some piratey swashbuckling and holy shit. If I could make the world a better place via piratey swashbuckling, I would be all over that.

Sara 12:28


Lilly 12:29

I don't know how Lock Haven did it. Because he so perfectly nailed the like, Pirate Princess wish fulfillment. There's the scene where she's just, you know, almost drowned and swam for her life. And her dress is all waterlogged and ruined. So she, you know, takes a knife and cuts off the skirts. And he just like describes the, you know, the asymmetrical tear line that's so iconic for this type of character. And she's got the coat and then the belts and oh my god.

Sara 13:04

I think my favorite part of that is how much she owns it. Yeah. Like people occasionally tell her like, oh, they love her look. And she's like, Yeah, I look great. Honestly, that's so refreshing approach protagonists to just, you know, acknowledge how cool they are. It's one of the reasons I really like is where she's just She's fun to read about. I mean,

Lilly 13:30

this book does deal with some very serious concepts like a political party who was based on manufactured fear.

Sara 13:40

That doesn't sound familiar at all.

Lilly 13:41

No. But then you get some really fun, silly moments like the Pirate Princess, which I keep saying Princess, she's, you know what I mean, though, that's the vibe. She's not actually a princess. You get what I'm saying?

Sara 13:58

i Yes, I do get what you're saying because we are related. And I have known you for a very long time. But it is worth clarifying for listeners. She's not a princess.

Lilly 14:09

No, that's just the vibe that she has. And everything about the marauders is hilarious. One of them is missing there, but like absolute silliness, and so light hearted Cathy borrows wear clothes. So you've got little like gentlemen and Lady Kathy Barros, walking around in full finery and trotting around at least

Sara 14:36

on the marauders ship. They do I'm not sure if they do elsewhere. To be honest. I don't think it's clear. I don't think it's clear but but they definitely do on the pirate ship. Just

Lilly 14:50

really charming stuff like that. And when you're in the middle of this fun adventure, you don't forget why is yours doing this but it's not to the forefront. So you get the like whole hearted, silly adventure. And then, you know the scene shifts or they encounter the ramifications of this giant douche bag. And you're sort of like gut punched and reminded like, oh, yeah, there. There are terrible things happening. This isn't an adventure for fun.

Sara 15:20

Yeah, there. This is definitely not cozy fantasy. But there are so many cozy fantasy vibes in this book that like, I really want to describe it as cozy fantasy, but I can't applaud is not cozy fantasy. And then you get some like, incredibly, like a couple of incredibly gory scenes where things happen. And I'm like, oh, which they hit more, because you're not expecting it because you've had this really cozy feel. But yeah, a lot of it is so cozy.

Lilly 15:49

I just I don't know. Well, I do know, I agree with you. There are a lot of really cozy like moments. Like I said, when Zora is off adventuring, and not dealing with this political upheaval, face to face, you can really just like, dive into how silly and fun and happy and wholesome and sweet really, really sweet so much of this book is. And then you turn the page and remember Oh, yeah, her dad basically disowned her to join this awful political party. And that father daughter conflict is really the main thrust of

Sara 16:27

the book. It is it is the backbone of the book.

Lilly 16:31

And that's just so stressful. I mean, in a good way.

Sara 16:36

I didn't find it stressful in the way that I think you did. I mean, obviously, it's like heart wrenching, because you want this conflict to be resolved. And you want her father, who starts out as a follower of Pratt, who's the bigoted governor, like you want him to see sense. And to stop being so ridiculous and stop falling Pratt. But yeah, I didn't find it stressful per se.

Lilly 17:01

We can't really talk more about that without getting into spoilers. There are so many fun characters in this book, a looping back around to the sweet and fun parts, and not the parts that make me want to tear my hair out and scream and cry all at the same time. Not at the book at John the father specifically. So the governor is bigoted against Don humans. And so of course, is where it gets to meet all sorts of cool non human characters. I think Elijah might be my favorite. He's a skeleton.

Sara 17:33

Elijah is pretty good. I really like bryza, who's a sick Guapa, which is another race. I know that there are some Guapa funds, Orcs, elves, I'm not sure if there are any other races beyond that. Kathy bars to cap the bar is count as a race. We haven't gotten any indication that they have a human like intelligence yet.

Lilly 17:59

Well, they are non human and Pratt is mean to them. So that's true. I don't know Elijah is just so sad. He gives me like really strong Marvin from Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy feelings. Yeah,

Sara 18:15

I can, I can see that.

Lilly 18:16

Like they're not the same character at all, but just that like, resounding resilient. Bummer.

Sara 18:22

He also plays kind of a similar support role for most of the books, and books most of the book. So I can, I can see where you would make the comparison.

Lilly 18:33

But that's a very surface level comparison. This book is a lot more emotional than Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy is

Sara 18:40

I mean, it's nothing like it, you know, the galaxy.

Lilly 18:43

I don't I don't want to, like, say that at all. And even Elijah, like is so much more fleshed out. He's a skeleton, and Marvin is a robot. He's still got more flesh than Marfan.

Sara 18:57

Yes, this is true.

Lilly 19:00

And then the marauders of course, have a whole cast of characters. But that that's a little spoilery. Learning about the marauders and who they are.

Sara 19:10

Yeah, we can, we can save that for a little bit. For the spoiler section, suffice it to say they're great. We love them. Circling back just a little bit to comparisons to this off after X, though, just for a quick minute. One of the things that I had not issue with but like, that kind of threw me out of South ever X was all of the pop culture references, not necessarily the amount, but just like how they were woven into the story, and how they were not so much woven into the story, not so much woven into the story. Yeah, they weren't really given the time to breathe and like, have the impact that they could have. Whereas in the Marauders, the daughter and the dragon, they are really really well done. At like they're subtle. All, but if you know what he's referencing what Lock Haven is referencing, like, obviously you get it. But it just makes for much more enjoyable reading to see this kind of reference, like, woven into the text like that instead of you're not being bludgeoned over the head. It

Lilly 20:17

helps with the pacing so much. Yeah, because you don't have to stop and go. Yes, yes. I have read The Hobbit, I understand.

Sara 20:23

Yes. So like, that's just another area where I think Lock Haven has really improved as an author from his first book, which again, we really enjoyed. But we did have a few issues with I agree.

Lilly 20:39

All right, other than everyone who should read this book,

Sara 20:42

you should read this book, if you like pirates and dragons, if you like, cozy fantasy vibes, but also really enjoy a little bit of gore, and

Lilly 20:56

very high stakes adventure. Yeah. A high stakes

Sara 20:59

adventure. But I would say, how do we want to phrase this? It is because it is high stakes, but also it feels very personal stakes. Yeah. Like, yes. I guess if Pratt gets his way, you know, the islands are at risk. But it feels very personal. And it is actually very personal. To endure. Yeah,

Lilly 21:24

I just feel like her trying to separate her father from Pratt is so much more moving. It's not just I have to save the world. It's my dad is on their side. What do I do about this?

Sara 21:40

I think it's it's a much more intimate story. Yeah. Then, like a story where someone is saving the world? Yeah. Because this is all about the people that you're saving.

Lilly 21:51

And the island that Zara and her father are from, is almost entirely human. Yes, there are areas on this. It's a, like the confluence of islands or something, is the name of this little society.

Sara 22:09

I forget what their specific Island is called, I think that's the name for the wider like ring of islands.

Lilly 22:15

Yeah, that's what I meant. So in, there are other islands in the confluence of islands that is a lot more diverse. And so as org actually gets the chance to meet the different people that she's sort of been sheltered from. And that's just an absolute delight. Because, of course, I mean, this book might be about bigotry, but it's about how that's bad. To be very blunt. And so as you're getting to meet all of these, like new various people and find out about the wider world is so delightful, because she's going into it with an open heart,

Sara 22:50

and also, frankly, overcoming her own bigotry, because she has a bit of it. She has issues that she's actively trying to work through when when we meet her. And it's it's really rewarding to see that kind of character growth. And understanding.

Lilly 23:09

Brett, I really think is just the word for this book, because you get the swashbuckling adventures, and then you get the very small motion or like, intimate emotional moments. Not small, you know, like, Yeah, well, smaller scale, in a sense. Yeah. And then you have the really big ones, and you have the big conflicts. And then you have the like, let's go to a casino side quest. And having such a varied experience in this book, and watching as your grow as a person and sort of confront herself and her family history and everything. Having those contrasts make both parts feel that much more poignant. Yes. Because the fun is so much more fun, because Yay, we're not reading about terrible people for a moment. Yes. And then we do get to the, to the parts with the governor who I just really want to punch in the face. Which I mean, Lock Haven did a great job of making a character that you really can't stand.

Sara 24:14

Governor Pratt is horrible. And yeah, and it

Lilly 24:19

feels even more horrible, because you were like, no, but one minute ago, everyone was happy. Why are we here? Now? Why is this happening? It's upsetting.

Sara 24:30

Only semi related, but you mentioning side quests makes me feel like this book would be an excellent video game. Oh, yeah. Because the world is outstanding. We don't see a ton of it in this book. But what we do see is really intriguing. And I feel like if you were to take the plot of this book, and make it a video game, like it would be so much fun. Like you have you have your main plot outline that you're trying to progress. But then you also have these fun like, you know, like the casinos or the going to the bar or the virtual reality adventure that they go on. Like it would be it would be so much fun as a video game.

Lilly 25:16

And then your dialogue options would give you antiracism points if you picked the right dialogue choices.

Sara 25:25

Yes, it just I want to see this like a kingdom heart style Square Enix video game. I didn't know I needed this until now. I need this now.

Lilly 25:34

I so for this setting, it is the really cool like Island, classic pirate adventure setting in that way. We see a lot of the different species, although not all of them. On this world, we get some hints.

Sara 25:50

I don't think we meet any else in the book.

Lilly 25:54

We hear about them, but we don't actually meet them. So there's there is more out there. But what really gets me and I don't want to say it felt underutilized. Because this book is really so perfect at what it does. But it's also like the planet is called the under ring. And there's a huge ring around the planet are that the planet the world is

Sara 26:19

I don't think that's the world I think. Yeah, maybe it is the world. I think back

Lilly 26:23

I thought the planet has a ring. And so they're under the ring.

Sara 26:28

I think that is the case. There's also the ring. There's like a sea monster that encircles the the islands that protects them from all of the monsters that infest the waters between the islands and the continent. Which is where the like the big elf orc war is.

Lilly 26:47

And I don't know, just little hints like that are endlessly fascinating. And we just get them like little teeth or they're hung over our head. Yeah,

Sara 26:59

it definitely feels like there's way more to this world than we've explored.

Lilly 27:03

Like I said, I don't want to call it underutilized because we see exactly as much of it as we need for a horror story. And I think trying to smush more world building into this book would have made it feel bad. Yeah, but I am definitely excited to read more. I'll say that. And

Sara 27:21

luckily, this is the first book in a trilogy, I think. So there will be more. Yes.

Lilly 27:28

We got completely distracted from why you should read this book.

Sara 27:31

Yes, we did. But on the other hand, I do think we covered why you should read this book. I mean, like if you like pirates, if you like cozy fantasy vibes, but don't necessarily need a cozy fantasy story, because this is not a cozy fantasy story. If you like reading about father daughter relationships, if you like a great character arcs, emotional character arcs. We haven't even talked about the dragon yet. But there is a dragon who's great. And all who also has a great arc. So if you'd like dragons,

Lilly 28:05

I mean, if you want a really intense, dramatic storyline, about family that's just also dispersed across some really fun high jinks. You love this book. It feels like it has something for everyone. And I know that's a really cheesy thing to say.

Sara 28:25

Yeah, but you're not really wrong, though. But it doesn't feel

Lilly 28:28

patchworked you know, it's not too many things in this book. It's just this young woman's journey happens to span many different experiences. And we got to get to the spoiler section so we can talk about find the tree that might give you a buzz. And to avoid spoilers skip to 4855. So you mentioned the dragon.

Sara 29:05

Yes. And obviously we couldn't talk about this in the non spoiler section, although he is in the title. Yeah, we could talk about how there is a dragon. But we couldn't talk about how the dragon is in fact XAuth Avar x from The Conjuring of Za fabrics and Zozobra axes Escape Plan, which came as a delightful surprise to me the first time I read this book, I

Lilly 29:30

think, also we've already praised lock havens growth in using references and making references in his work. And I think the inclusion of xOP avidex as a character is where that's most apparent, because this is the whole as character, the title character from his first novel, but you don't need any of that. Like it's inconsequential, but knowing what's off that Rex has previously gone through, and how his plans have been forwarded in the past does add, I guess just background like character knowledge. But if you went into this book with nothing, you'd be totally fine. Yeah, like

Sara 30:12

Zovirax gives you enough information about his backstory to really appreciate where he starts out and where he ends up as the character. But I do think that you, you would get more enjoyment from that growth if you'd read the contouring of soft fabrics. But you absolutely do not need to, in order to enjoy and understand the Marauders, the daughter and the dragon, which so yeah, like I think I think Lock Haven has done an excellent job at bringing in this character from a previous book into a completely different world and setting a novel and making it a standalone,

Lilly 30:51

really, having read The Conjuring of xOP after X. It just gives you more solid knowledge of what he's like, before he goes through his character arc. I mean, he's kind of a callous jerk. He's he's definitely a callous, self centered jerk.

Sara 31:07

He's definitely yeah, he's definitely a jerk.

Lilly 31:11

And you pick that up. He doesn't hide who he is. He makes it very evident. But going through an entire book where he's the antagonist of the Kandra gives off apper x. And so then having him appear in this book as an unwanted, not unwitting, no, an unwitting ally? I would say, Yeah, I mean, at times, at times.

Sara 31:35

And it's definitely really even if you haven't read the contouring of soft fabrics. I think it's definitely really, you can really appreciate seeing his development from someone who was so self centered, who doesn't care about anyone but themselves and their their Hoard. And who is an ally, but really can only reluctantly, because it's like, you know, you you scratch my back, I'll scratch yours.

Lilly 32:01

Reluctant is the word I was looking for. Yes, thank

Sara 32:03

you. Yes. So seeing him, him go from that, to recognizing that previously, you know, he was kind of unhappy. And his Hoard. Like it was great to have the biggest hoard in the multiverse. But it didn't really get him anything. He wasn't satisfied. And so seeing him develop, and actually recognize people as friends, is so satisfying.

Lilly 32:34

I'm an absolute fucking sucker for saving the world through love and friendship. And we definitely see a zoo or do that. I mean, it was all fabrics admits that they're friends, and that he's going to help her just to help her instead of to get something out of it. And that is like, that's the climax of the book. They're kind of

Sara 32:58

flocked, and like the moment where he drops. So we talked a little bit about Elijah and how he's the skeleton. But what we didn't mention is that Elijah is cursed because he was part of like a pirate group, and they stole a Cursed Treasure. And now they're cursed to be I've said curse way too many times. But now they're forced to wander the world as skeletons, until the last of this treasure, which has, I think it's like gold coins with a candy bar embossed on them are all like dropped in the sea and touch the sea floor or something. And Zostavax has the very last coin. And for a large portion of the time when he's introduced onto the end of the book, he's like, Yeah, I know, I have this coin, where if I drop it, like Elijah's curse, and the curse, and all of the other sailors who we don't necessarily meet, but like, we know they exist. I know that it would be broken, but I don't care. And so when he finally like, drops it in the ocean, you're like, yes. character growth. All the

Lilly 34:08

triumphant moments in this book are so emotionally satisfying. Yes. As lighthearted and silly as parts of this novel are, it also makes you really work for the victories? Like, holy shit, we haven't even I guess we've briefly brought up but I don't think we can even really get into Azhar and John, except to say that they do. I mean, it's the book has a happy ending, right? Yes, that is a spoiler, but that's okay. That's the section we're in. But I don't even want to try to get into that just because the book lays it out so well. And it is so impactful. When they do reconcile.

Sara 34:54

Yeah, they have a really great arc, I will say. So part of their art And again, I agree with you that we can't really talk about it that much. But part of their arc involves John realizing that, that he's been a complete idiot to follow Pratt. And at the very end, he's no longer a proud follower. Like he's recognized that that was a shit thing to do. But he's still kind of, like subscribes to those ideas of bigotry that Pratt espoused. And so xuer has a comment to him that like, No, we can't, Dad, we can't talk about politics, like just shut the fuck up. And I really, I really wish that she that he had changed enough that they could talk about politics together. Like this is not a complaint with the book, because I felt that John's change was really realistic. Like, he's not going to get to magically change from a complete beginner to not a big hit over the course of one book. Like, that's just not, you know, that's not how the world works, unfortunately. But I, I really wanted him to make that complete of a change.

Lilly 36:08

I mean, that would have been the fairytale ending, right? Yeah. He saw the error of his ways. And now he believed in the equality of everyone. But just the fact that he goes from being willing to sacrifice his own child for a political movement to like, not doing that.

Sara 36:27

He definitely is the mandible. He makes a lot of important progress. I don't want to discount that. I just like you have you have this note here. Talking about how the resolution feels triumphant, because it's so heart wrenching. And I agree, but also, it didn't feel like that. Specifically, that note, like kind of soured the triumph for me a little bit. Because I was like, Oh, you still you still have a ways to go. Okay. You're you're making progress. You're trying your best, but you still have a ways to go.

Lilly 37:04

I liked that. I mean, it's frustrating. Like, from a person perspective. Yeah. Yeah.

Sara 37:13

Like, again, it felt real. Like this is not this is not a complaint with the book. Yeah, it's a complaint with the character. But like, the book is perfect. Like I didn't, yeah.

Lilly 37:26

Just that that whole conflict is that I mean, puts you through the wringer. And Azhar has to struggle with these really, like complex, difficult emotions. And there's not really a good answer. And she has to acknowledge that and it's Oh, yeah, this book, it

Sara 37:47

definitely made me. I don't think this book made me cry. Exactly. Well, rereading it, rereading the arc didn't make me cry. I don't remember whether or not rereading the draft that we beta read made me cry, because that was kind of a long time ago. Even when Robin dies. That was That was rough. That was definitely rough. I do remember that. My original comment was that he should string that death out longer though.

Lilly 38:21

Look, this made me cry, but you could have done it even worse.

Sara 38:24

Yeah. Exactly.

Lilly 38:27

Oh, I love Robin. She was so good. Robin is great. She is a talking Robin, first of all, a shit talking Robin.

Sara 38:37

shit talking Robin who like is really open about wanting to have like sex with other birds. Great.

Lilly 38:49

She is really incredible. She's the plucky best friend, and fills that role so well with just that extra layer of absurdity. Where she is a tiny talking bird. Yeah, that's just the kind of weirdness that this book brings. You're having this like, really emotional moment between two lifelong friends. And then she's like, Oh, BRB, gonna go fuck that eagle. It wasn't an eagle. You know what I mean? It was I don't remember what kind of bird it was.

Sara 39:25

I don't remember what because she has. She ends up having this relationship with the bird Companion of the Marauder king, but I don't remember what kind of bird he was.

Lilly 39:36

That's not her first conquest. She gets around.

Sara 39:39

She does get around. I mean, she's not shy about that.

Lilly 39:43

Good for her. Good for you, Robin.

Sara 39:46

And she is sitting on some eggs when when the book ends.

Lilly 39:50

Well, that'll happen. Yeah. Do they make tiny bird condoms? Maybe in this world? They do. I don't know. I don't think she had access to them on the high seas.

Sara 40:00

He's though. Yeah, I mean, even if they had them, you're out. If you're out on a boat for long periods of time, you might run out

Lilly 40:09

whether he was going through them. Yeah. So we had Robins, a very excellent relationship, high jinks, we also find out through the course of the book that Elijah is in love with Zoar, which I mean, who wouldn't be? She's the greatest.

Sara 40:25

And that's something that I really, really enjoyed at the resolution of the book, because there are little hints of it, you can pick up on it, as you read through the book, but he comes out and says it at the very end. And like, I'm really interested to see where that relationship goes. Because a xuer doesn't really say whether or not she's going to reciprocate at the end. Like, I think she's flattered. And I think she's like, Yeah, maybe, but there's no like, returning declaration of love, necessarily, although she does admire his naked body when he is restored the human form. But that's, that's not saying that I'm gonna date you,

Lilly 41:11

right? No, that's just you know, appreciation. Yes. Yeah, I quite liked it. It's interesting, right? Because at that point, they've sort of been through this. It's fun, but also kind of harrowing task. To

Sara 41:27

I still think it's interesting. You pronounce it harrowing? Instead of harrowing? Yeah. Is that I'm pretty sure it is harrowing. Really?

Lilly 41:39

Yes. Weird. Well,

Sara 41:44

no, sorry. I say really? I'm pretty sure it is harrowing.

Lilly 41:50

Okay. Whatever.

Sara 41:53

I mean, like, I wouldn't bet a million dollars on that. But I would bet like 10

Lilly 41:58

This says it sounds like hey, rolling. H e. H.

Sara 42:01

I was closer to how I pronounce it than you do.

Lilly 42:05

Yeah, I say it with a soft HA HA HA, HA RO, but I guess Yeah, like arrow with an H in front of it. Okay. Yeah, fair enough. Yep. I was gonna say why would that be a long a sound? But no, like, no, nothing to stand on.

Sara 42:24

Hashtag words are weird. They are. That's not what we're going to use for words or weird segments. But, but it's true. It is true. Anyway, I'm, I'm sorry to distract you from your point.

Lilly 42:37

I also don't know where their relationship is going. But he confesses to her after he helps her. Save her dad, and save her dad, you know what I mean? deconstructs her dad from this awful politics cold and stop the governor from like mind controlling everybody. So they've been through some shit together,

Sara 42:58

they have been through some shit together. Like I said, I'm really intrigued to see where the relationship goes. And Book Two, I think this book works very well as a standalone. Because all of the important threads are sewn up in this book, you know, like you do have a complete story. You're not left with any loose threads necessarily. But there are these these little parts where you're like, Okay, I see where the story could be continued. And I'm really intrigued to see where it goes. And this is one of

Lilly 43:29

them. Yes, I agree. I just love that he's such a dark horse of a romantic interest. You don't think the sad skeleton is going to end up as the like,

Sara 43:42

I actually kind of thought that so there's another not deckhand, but like he's he's someone else who works on the ship that Pratt is taking all of his followers on, because Pratt has like, collected all of these followers in order to enact his horrible scheme of mind controlling this Leviathan to do bad things. And there's there's this other worker ship meat. Yeah, shipmate. And like I kind of felt that he was gonna make a move on a xuer

Lilly 44:18

Well, he's hot and not a skeleton.

Sara 44:22

Yeah, I mean, he's a skeleton and nothing ever happens between them but like that's definitely like going in. I thought, Well, if there's any romance is going to be between these two. And there was no romance between those so

Lilly 44:34

and when I say he's hot I'm pretty sure he is described as being attractive in the book. I'm not just making that up. And he's charming and he's you know, the showing her the ropes that's totally in in for a romantic really. Yeah. And I love that. That's not what happens.

Sara 44:51

Yeah, I don't remember his physical description, but like he's, he definitely does have that showing her the ropes

Lilly 44:59

in But now we get sad, Elijah.

Sara 45:02

Yes. It was also apparently hot when he's on skeletonised.

Lilly 45:09

He's got good bones. You're welcome. Me. Can you spit your wine out? I'm sorry.

Sara 45:17

I'll forgive you just was once.

Lilly 45:21

No, I really loved Elijah. And so when that does happen, I was just like, oh, that's doing better say yes. Yeah. I mean, if he doesn't like him, that's fine. But she should like him. So

Sara 45:33

it's really cute. But something I appreciate is that I feel like he would take it well, if she didn't say, like, I don't like you.

Lilly 45:40

Well, that's kind of where I was going with the they've been through so much together. Like, they're genuinely very close friends. They are.

Sara 45:49

I mean, I didn't necessarily feel like on her part, she considered him a romantic potential romantic partner. Mostly, he was a skeleton. Well, I

Lilly 46:00

agree. I also think she just wasn't thinking about that. That's, that's true, too. That's kind of the sense I got is that she was just so focused on her goal of I going to simplify it down to saving the world, that it just didn't even cross her mind to consider it. And so I think it's less that she isn't into him, and more that she'd never stopped long enough to wonder if she was.

Sara 46:25

I mean, that's true, too. I do think that there's a little bit of, she wasn't into him as a skeleton, or she didn't consider him as a potential romantic partner because he was a skeleton, which is maybe Fair, which I think is valid. That does pose some difficulty. Yeah, like, I mean, it's obviously, you know, regardless of how much you like someone as a person, like if you want to bolt on them, pardon the pun. You can't really do that when they're a skeleton.

Lilly 46:57

You're not pardoned.

Sara 47:00

Sorry, not sorry.

Lilly 47:02

No, it was good. Yeah, I I'm just really interested. And of course, I'm a sucker for romance. So the I'm excited. We have not talked a tiny bit about the marauders. And do we need to, they're great. They sing sea shanties and make dirty rhymes, and are just like one big happy, they do mischief. Right?

Sara 47:25

They're not pirates. They're very specifically not pirates. Yeah.

Lilly 47:30

And there's some orcs on the crew. And so we get to see like that aspect of the world.

Sara 47:36

I do have to say that the sea shanty that the two orcs saying might be my favorite in the book, just because it's so full of innuendo. Like it's just it's delightful. All of the sea shanties, and books are delightful, but that one is particularly delightful.

Lilly 47:57

I really, I don't remember their names for the life of me.

Sara 48:01

It's like NARC, narwhal and ORAC, I think something like

Lilly 48:06

that. But we get to explore like, how everyone has these horrible assumptions about orcs, which I mean, thanks d&d, but it's true. It's always fun when a world flips that.

Sara 48:18

Yeah, this is if you like non stereotypical orcs. They're not the focus of this book, but

Lilly 48:25

they shine.

Sara 48:26

You definitely get that in this book. And they are fantastic.

Lilly 48:31

But it's that's definitely a spoiler. Which sucks. Yeah. How do you like say, no, just trust me. Just trust me. Don't

Sara 48:38

ask. Also, if you want possibly the best reference to the two towers, Battle of Helm's Deep movie, specifically in regards to the orcs I've ever read in the book. Like this book is for you.

Lilly 48:57

Will Sarah speaking of sea shanties?

Sara 49:00

Yeah. So I have kind of not kind of a pet peeve. I have a pet peeve. Specifically, not in regards to the Marauders, the daughter and the dragon, because I think Lock Haven does songs in his book very well. And they feel not intrusive in the least. But reading this book did make me think of how it is so easy to do songs in books badly, especially if you have like a full length song. Because it can feel so intrusive. And it can just take you out of the story entirely. Like it can just interrupt the flow of the book. But in the Marauders, the daughter and the dragon is good. And the songs are great.

Lilly 49:53

The songs are delightful. i Oh, I know you're gonna fight me on this.

Sara 49:58

I am going to fight you on this Oh, dude,

Lilly 50:00

Tolkien. I love you, Tolkien. I know you just want to be a culture writer and invent all of these cultures and songs are a part of that. But don't do it in the middle of your book, man. Make a collection of songs separate.

Sara 50:15

See, I, I think that it works and talking because he's such a culture writer, but I think that it would be more intrusive reading as an audiobook listening as an audio book.

Lilly 50:30

Yeah, it okay. I hate dramatized audiobooks, but it does make me wonder if maybe there had been some music behind them, it would have been less painful.

Sara 50:39

Oh, yeah. Yeah, I think if you're going to listen to it, you definitely need music, specifically for talking maybe for other books too.

Lilly 50:48

Well, I think if there's supposed to be music in the, like happening behind it. Yeah, there should be. And then usually is supposed to be some kind of accompaniment. At least Yeah. And talking but oh my god, we're so you were listening to the audio books on a car ride. So we were a captive audience, no drifting off and not paying attention. And there's just a point where they're going sings a song, and then you get like five pages of Eric, I don't know how many pages it was too many, half an hour of Aragorn singing a song. And then it was like, lost his turn to sing a song. And then he got another one for another half an hour.

Sara 51:27

I will say specifically with talking like it does. I think it does help to be able to read because you can just kind of skim Yeah, can't necessarily do that with a with an audiobook. No. Bringing it back to Lock Haven just a little bit. What I liked about the songs were that they were all very fun. And also not too long. Yes. Like they didn't feel like they went on longer than they should.

Lilly 51:54

There's also not that many, like I said, Yeah, lock, haven't used them very judiciously. And there are several, but they come at good moments. It doesn't feel like you know, we just had this really climactic thing. Let's find out what happens. Oh, no, we have to wait for everyone to do their songs first. Okay.

Sara 52:12

Yeah, I mean, they are well integrated. And in that respect, I actually think that they are like Tolkien, in the sense that Tolkien puts his songs in very specific places where it's appropriate to the action, or where it's appropriate to what the characters are doing. Maybe that's a better word than action.

Lilly 52:31

Just don't do three or four in a row, man. Don't do that to me. I'm, that's not an exaggeration. I think it's when Boromir dies. And then everyone has to sing a sad song about him. And it's like, Oh, my God, I'm not even sad that he's dead anymore. Okay, so that was bad. And then Treebeard song about the end wives was so long. Oh, my God.

Sara 52:58

See, I Do I Do you think that some of this is because you were listening to it?

Lilly 53:03

Okay, but you can't say you thought it was like really good and well done in the books. If the whole point is that you skip them? I know. I'm

Sara 53:10

not saying that. I skip them. Because I don't skip them. I do read them. But like you can when you're reading you can kind of skim the middle.

Lilly 53:20

Yeah, they don't need to be that long. He does go on

Sara 53:23

at length. Yes, I'm not I'm not disagreeing there.

Lilly 53:29

And I also really wonder, like, did Robert Engels or whatever his name was the narrator for the audiobooks that he have to come up with the tunes himself. Did he have someone helping him?

Sara 53:40

I doubt it because there's, well, I don't know specifically, what songs are in Donald swans The road goes ever on. But there is a music book with composer Donald Swan, I believe is the name who put music to a lot of the songs that Tolkien

Lilly 53:56

wrote. See, I think, okay, if it had been, like a more full production and just that one, just the songs though. Like, I don't want a dramatized audiobook, ever, ever, ever. But the songs could have used some help.

Sara 54:11

Although, to be fair, a lot of this time they're saying they don't have necessarily that like a company met.

Lilly 54:19

In the wild. No, but there's a lot of singing in like middle sales and stuff. Okay. 50 Yeah, I'd say 5050 It would have been nice. You said Donald SWAT Don swan. The road was ever on.

Sara 54:32

I think I have a copy of it somewhere.

Lilly 54:34

Oh, it was a collaboration between Tolkien and swan. That's yeah, like

Sara 54:37

he he worked on it too. Or he gave his seal of approval or something.

Lilly 54:42

And okay, yeah. So I was trying to figure out a timeline this did come out way before the audio books did.

Sara 54:47

Yes. It came out in like the 70s. Yeah, like it. This is this is not a new thing. Neither the audio books. Well, yeah, but I guess what I mean is this is before the audio Yo bucks.

Lilly 55:00

I was just looking for a timeline. Yeah. Yeah. So that that's neat. I did not know that. Also good because I feel like that would have been rough. Also, it was still pretty rough. Now, the shanties, on the other hand, much, much more fun 0% Boring.

Sara 55:18

The shammies were a lot of fun. I do want the full album at some point. Hell yeah. Please, Kyle, if you're listening, please, please produce that.

Lilly 55:33

Thank you so much for listening to this episode of fiction fans.

Sara 55:37

Come disagree with us. We're on Twitter and Instagram at fiction fans pod. You can also email us at fiction fans If you

Lilly 55:46

enjoyed this episode, please rate and review on Spotify and Apple podcasts. And follow us wherever your podcasts live.

Sara 55:54

We also have a Patreon where you can support us and find our show notes and a lot of other nonsense, and you should go pre order or order if you're listening to this after August 20 2022. The marauders the daughter and the dragon by k r r Lock Haven,

Lilly 56:12

do it. I did it. You won't regret it. It's a really fucking good book, you guys. I'm sure we'll link to that

Sara 56:20

in the description. We will link to that in the description.

Lilly 56:23

Excellent. Well in that case, thanks again for listening, and may your governor Prats always be defeated

Sara 56:31


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