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White Trash Warlock
By David Slayton

Discussed April 2022

Buy White Trash Warlock from Amazon.com

The Binder Family & Other Humans
Adam Binder – wizard/warlock
Robert/Bobby – his brother
Annie – Robert’s wife
Tilla Mae – Adam & Bobby’s mother
Aunt Sue – Adam & Bobby’s great aunt, a magic practitioner
Adam’s missing father
Vic – Adam’s potential love interest?
Tanner – an almost hook up
Vic’s family (Jesse, Mom, Father)

The Supernatural World
Bill, the Saurian
Sara/Death
Ms. Geen/Argent – the Queen of Swords, an elf
Silver/Perak – the Knight of Swords, an elf
the warlock Adam is hunting
The Gaoler and the gnomes
Various other supernatural creatures (reapers, a dragon, etc)

Questions

  1. Did you finish the book?  Did you like it...why or why not?
  2. White Trash Warlock very definitely falls into the genre of urban fantasy – though at times, urban is a bit of a stretch (particularly at the beginning). Did it follow any typical patterns or tropes in urban fantasy stories? Did it do so in a way that felt fresh and/or engaging – or in ways that felt stale?
  3. Did the book remind you of any other books you’d read...if so, which book(s)?
  4. The magic in Slayton’s book is... less defined and standardized than in some urban fantasies. Did you find the lack of structure and definition to how magic worked a help or a hindrance to your enjoyment of the book?
  5. There are elements in the magical aspects of the world Slayton has created that mesh elements from different magical systems and/or tropes. For example, the directional watchtowers is a traditional element in a number of pagan/magical systems today – but the use of fantastical creatures like elves and gnomes as the guardians is atypical. Did you find any of the meshing jarring?
  6. Adam has not had an easy life – he struggled with the awakening of his abilities, was institutionalized for a time by his own brother, and struggles to make lasting connections to people. How did he work as a main character for you?
  7. Given the time it occurred in his life, and the cultural area in which he lived, it’s easy to look at Liberty House as an allegory for a gay conversion facility (attempting to change something inherent in Adam’s nature). Did you feel that Slayton intentionally worked to make that allegory apparent in the story?
  8. Urban fantasy heroes are often truly urban, and with a middle class background….Adam is not.  The story starts in a very different environment than most urban fantasies.  Adam fully embraces his class status, and even challenges his brother at one point about his classist attitudes.
    Adam: “People aren’t less just because they don’t live the way you do.”
    Bobby: “I didn’t say that,” Robert said.
    Adam: “You think it,” Adam said. “You think we’re all trash because we don’t have nice cars  and ugly houses. Life isn’t just about money.”
    Did you find that enhanced or detracted from the story?
  9. Adam is unabashedly queer.  Would you call this a queer story?
  10. Adam’s connection to Vic is forged through external/forced means – but what of their budding relationship?  Did it feel like it was forced or did it feel like Vic was connecting with Adam by choice at the end?
  11. Was the identity of Silver (Perak) something you figured out before it was revealed? Did it feel like that story element was forced by the author, or – with the identity revealed – did the actions of Silver/Perak upon meeting Adam with Argent make sense given their history?
  12. One of the standard tropes of urban fantasy is the trope of the hero (Adam) following a personal smaller investigation (seeking his father/the warlock making the magic items) getting called into a larger calamity (the Mercy spirit) only to learn near the end that the two investigations are linked.  Did the fact that the author connected the two storylines bother you at all?
  13. Slayton has already published a second novel following Adam Binder’s story – Trailer Park Trickster – do you intend to read it?
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