Guts and Sass: An Anti-Epic by M.E. Traylor is the story of when semi-suicidal vet Hannah Roverton gets transported to a Magical Land, thus abandoning her cat, her sister, and her therapist. Except actually, its not. Welcome to a land embroiled in war and invasion with a pinch of magic, meet pirates, shapeshifters, and chicks with swords. Now throw your expectations out the window. Got no heroes, no glory, and it aint no lie.
Guts and Sass deconstructs many popular fantasy tropes in an attempt to write a story with all the tropey goodness, without the sickly sweet stickiness of stereotypes. Guts and Sass begins when semi-suicidal veteran of the Colombian drug war Hannah Roverton begins making dream friends with an anthropomorphic body of water, then unceremoniously gets herself killed, catalyzing her literal transportation to a Magical Land. She finds herself on a ship of pirates on a mission, discovers there is an invading horde, and tends to think she's been kidnapped by a bunch of rabid D&D fans. Guts and Sass explores several lifeways in depth, including feudal agriculturalist monarchy, hunter-gatherer, and semi-domestic pastoralists. The story also explores third gender, gender crossing, and transgender, as well as a variety of sexualities.
- Casual Kink: Litin, one of the healers on the ship, is an empowered, self-confident masochist.
- Fantastic Medicinal Bodily Product: The Lridrisy, a species of giant shapeshifting cats, have blood with potent healing properties.
- Healing Potion: Rethor is a potion condensed from the blood of Lridrisy that catalyzes impossibly fast healing. Raw Lridrisy blood also has this property, but it is not as strong until distilled into Rethor.
- The Horde: The Drifalcand are an unorganized, pantheistic, orgiastic invading horde.
- Proud Warrior Race Guy: The Sergilé and Drifalcand.