War God is a Black Comedy humorous fantasy novel by Tim Marquitz. It is Deconstructive Parody of both gladiator as well as sports movies. Set in a Fantasy Counterpart Culture version of Rome, it follows two con men as they attempt to make a fortune rigging the biggest gladiator tournament in the world with a country bumpkin.
Sand is destined for greatness. Or so a pair of two-bit criminals would have him believe. After rescuing him from certain doom, Bess and Kaede embark on a scheme to game the War God Tournament. Itd be easier if Sand wasnt an alcohol-soaked twit with a disturbing interest in mutton. Pitted against monsters, magic swords, and murderers galore, they soon realize winning the tourney is the least of their worries.
The novel was independently published and released on January 31st, 2016.
This book contains the following tropes:
- Affably Evil: The monster in the cave is quite polite and willing to let Bess go with his treasure but then again, he HATES the intelligent talking sword he's been created to guard.
- Artistic License History: The gladiator contests are depicted as being always to the death. This isn't how it worked in history for obvious reasons. Possibly averted as it's implied that opponents could yield but our hero is so awful at fighting they have to make sure he kills his opponents quickly or use magic to do it.
- Bestiality Is Depraved: We never find out if Sand was screwing those sheep or not. They were vampire sheep!
- Black Comedy: It's a story about two merciless con men, their mark, and the people they murder to make a fortune.
- Black Comedy Rape: Bess sleeps with Sand while black out drunk, a fact which only cements her decision to kill him. Sadly, this is played for laughs.
- Blood Sport: How gladiator games are portrayed. People come to them as much to see people murdered as displays of actual skill.
- Cool Sword: The key to Sand's victories turns out to be a talking sword who does most of the fighting for him.
- Dare to Be Badass: This is how our heroes pitch their plan to Sand.
- Deconstructive Parody: Of sports movies. Sand is led to believe he's a Zero To Hero Badass about to become rich and famous. He's actually being set up to die in the final battle his handlers are betting against him in.
- Dick Dastardly Stops to Cheat: The (anti)heroes never would have gotten as far with their plan if not for cheating but they drop the ball when they expect Sand to lose.
- Dumb Muscle: Sand in a nutshell.
- Fake Ultimate Hero: Bess and Kaede intend to turn Sand into one of these so they can make a fortune. They succeed...sort of.
- Fantasy Counterpart Culture: The fantasy world they live in is very heavily based on Rome.
- Gladiator Games: The setting for the novel is about a series of these.
- Hookers and Blow: Sand quickly becomes accustomed to this as a gladiator's lifestyle.
- Hoist by His Own Petard: Sand wins the final battle against the War God and the protagonists lose their entire fortunes as they'd bet against him.
- Hot Witch: Bess is implied to be one, albeit not an exceptional one.
- Laser-Guided Karma: The antiheroes lose everything they've made and lots more besides by betting against Sand and their own cheating tools being used against them.
- My God, What Have I Done?: Bess accidentally causes the deaths of a few hundred spectators during a contest. It's worth it for the publicity, Kaede argues.
- Shot in the Ass: Being stabbed up it, is how the War God dies.
- Spectator Casualty: Bess accidentally causes a bunch of these. She feels bad about it, for about a day or two.
- Sword & Sandal: Ancient Rome-esque land? Check. Gladiators? Check. Violence and sex? Check and check.
- Took a Level in Jerkass: Sand starts off as a fairly simple but decent sort. He ends up being just as greedy and corrupt as his handlers, only an idiot as well.
- The Tourney: The majority of the book is about getting Sand enough victories to qualify for membership in this.
- Villain Protagonist: Our heroes seem like Antihero types who still have a good deal for Sand until it's revealed they plan for him to die in the final battle.
- Would Not Hit a Girl: Sand has this problem when he encounters a beautiful Action Girl in the arena. The fact the combat is to the death changes his attitude quickly.
- Unwitting Pawn: Sand to Kaede and Bess.
- Zero To Hero: Sand thinks he's one of these. He's actually cheating with a magic sword given to him as well as blessings from a witch.