The supporting characters are fun as well-- Serena can talk to animals, but is afraid to talk to large ones. Since those are the most useful animals with whom to converse, she has to overcome her fears. Lena is bound and determined to be the fiercest barbarian ever, and the insults that she hurls are delightful-- at one point, she threatens orcs with putting her fist down their gullets, bringing up their last meal, and making their neighbor eat it! She also wants to name her sword "Bloodgulper"! Quinn has the ability to shoot fire out of his fingers, and occasionally his ears, but needs to learn to control his powers and overcome some of his fears. Ravenna doesn't get too much coverage in this book, but I can see her emerging as a love interest in the second book-- it's fantastic that she ends up saving Colm!
Anderson's prose is fast-paced and funny. As he did in Minion and Sidekicked, he has created unique and quirky characters who embrace the challenges thrown at them by their magical worlds. My only objection was that the world building seemed weak, mainly because the book supposes that the reader is familiar with the sort of medieval-ish setting where boys are sent away from their hamlets to seek their fame with swords. The dialogue at times sounds very modern. However, when I read other reviews of this title, I learned that the setting owes much to the Dungeons and Dragons game, or other role playing games of adventure. Since Runescape makes me cry bitter tears of frustration, I didn't understand this facet of the book. Fans of RPGs will adore this, and be quick to imagine themselves into the story.