The Extraordinary Adventures of Alfred Kropp, by Rick Yancey (2005)

Genre: Fantasy
Interest level: 12-16
The Extraordinary Adventures of Alfred KroppAlfred is fumbling through high school. He’s physically huge, so everyone wants him to play football but he’s not very good at it. The coach keeps yelling at him, he misses a play and the quarterback is clobbered, and he is snubbed by the girl he likes. Things are worse at home. He never knew his dad, and his mum develops cancer. When she dies, he goes to live with his Uncle Farrell, who badgers him at every turn, coercing him to help in a theft that costs Farrell his life and sets Alfred off on a grand adventure that involves the legend of King Arthur, knights, fast cars and bloody, deadly swordfights. Throughout Alfred is trying to figure out the right thing to do, and causing one death, it seems, after another. This is the first in a series, and I’ll bet the author is having a blast writing these, lopping off heads in a single sword swipe and having fun with grand legends:
“If you’re Lancelot, I’d hate to see Guinevere.”
“I didn’t say I was Lancelot, I’m descended from Lancelot.”
“And I’m the Queen of Sheba.”
If you like a little gore with your fantasy this one’s for you. Like a sweet dessert, I can see that more isn’t going to be better. First one was fun, but I won’t be reading the next one.
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