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Item - Ruins of Rangar

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Series: Fantasy Forest — no. 2
Author: Carr, Michael (Mike)
Illustrators: Easley, Jeff (cover)
Fishel, Michael (interior)
Date: October, 1983
ISBN: 0880380608 / 9780880380607
Length: 76 pages
Number of Endings: 5
User Summary: You are the weapons caretaker for a group of adventurers on a mission to defeat an evil skeleton king named Nightshade.
Demian's Thoughts:

While this book is necessarily fairly shallow due to its length, it's a more exciting and action-packed adventure than most gamebooks aimed at this age group.

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Kveto's Thoughts:

This is the first Fantasy Forest book to feature Gregor, the Good Knight, who would also appear in books 3-5 of the series. But in this book, you play Erik, young brother and squire to Gregor. This at least gives a logical reason for a young boy to be in an adventuring party, although, it seems odd that, like in Dungeon of Darkness, the party would allow the squire to make decisions.

These four books seem to have been an attempt to develop a continuing storyline of the clash between Gregor and the villain, Nightshade. But the plots are all so similar it feels like the same story done four times, this being the only one with a male protagonist. It even features some of the same monsters, the Umber Hulk and spectre.

The paths are quite short as the book is 76 pages with half being illustrations. But like the other books, there are few "bad" endings, the worst being turned to stone by the breath of a gorgon. It also has a rather funny restart where some pegasi take you to the wrong ruins.

The artwork by Michael Fishel is much better than it has any right to be.

More reviews by Kveto

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