Warlock’s Bar and Grille by Don Callander

Warlock’s Bar and Grille by Don Callander
Publisher: Mundania Press
Genre: Sci-Fi/Fantasy
Length: Full Length (227 Pages)
Rating: 4 Stars
Reviewed by Cyclamen

Abel Crochet, a warlock whose beloved witch-wife had poofed, was forced by the Martian Witches and Wizards Guild delegation to give up magic due to his terrible luck of destroying the things he tried to fix…like a whole planets’ ecology. Even the great canals dried up!

The Planet Hepzibah was home to witches, warlocks, ghosts, goblins, demons, poltergeists, necromancers, banshees, nightwalkers, and…well, you get the idea.

Trying to start a new life on Hepzibah, Abel bought the closed down, broken down Heartburn Haven and Taco Take-away, and with no small amount of shenanigans from local workmen, unions, and bump-in-the-night creatures, turned it into a Bar and Grill attempting to serve the best food and drink on the planet.

The adventure begins as Abel attempts to make a profit…and actually stay alive. Two goals that may end up being mutually exclusive.

Abel Crochet, a warlock, is forced to give up magic and relocate from Mars to the Planet Hepzibah. He must start anew without his beloved wife, Mary Mistral, a witch who has poofed. He purchases “a sagging wattle-and-daub structure that, according to this real estate ghoul, had been, by turns, an undertakers parlor, a bootleg aquavit still, a home for wayward nixies, a safe-house for on-the-lam serial assassins. . .and so on and so forth. . .for over three hundred years!” Crochet succeeds in turning this structure into Warlock’s Bar and Grille, fully outfitted with everything a customer could wish for including a cozy Ladies Parlor.

In addition to Crochet, this novel has an abundance of interesting and well-developed characters from a variety of species. I was especially fond of Boy, the werewolf bartender, Chef, the skinny young man who can cook the most sumptuous meals, and Myron the Master Builder. The story moves from episode to episode in the life of a bar and grille. Each episode is loosely connected to the main story line and we learn how Crochet deals with a Rainmaker and then plays host to a gathering of witches. The plot covers a period of over six years in Crochet’s life as the host of his bar and grille, and there is much humor and adventure to be had by all.

The setting for this novel is fully developed and I really felt as if I were on this weird and very interesting planet. Not only is the bar and grille described in rich detail, including all the information about the renovating of the three hundred year old building, but the other parts of the planet come alive as well. The reader learns about ghouls and vampires, witches and banshees, and many other delightful creatures.
Lovers of light-hearted fantasy are sure to enjoy learning all about life on Hepzibah as seen through the eyes of Abel Crochet, Host of Warlock’s Bar and Grille.

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