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Kharé - Cityport of Traps

(wraparound cover)
Series: Fighting Fantasy Reissues (Series 1) #11
Sorcery! #2
Contained In: Sorcery! Box Set (Collection)
Translated Into: La Cité des pièges (French)
La città dei misteri (Italian)
Die Fallen von Kharé (German)
Fældernes by (Danish)
Jousai-toshi Khare [城砦都市カーレ] (Japanese)
Kharé - a csapdák kikötővárosa (Hungarian)
Kharé - bašta zla (Czech)
Kharé - Porto dos ardis (Portuguese)
Kharé, ciudad de las mil trampas (Spanish)
Kharé, ciudad de las trampas (Spanish)
Pristanishteto na klopkite [Пристанището на клопките] (Bulgarian)
XRI NML HMLKWDWT [חרי נמל המלכודות] (Hebrew)
Adapted Into: Crown of Kings: A Campaign for Advanced Fighting Fantasy (Role-Playing Material)
Sorcery 2: Kharé - Cityport of Traps (Role-Playing Material)
Sorcery! 2 (Digital Gamebook)
Author: Jackson, Steve (United Kingdom)
Illustrators: Blanche, John (original artwork)
Grant, Melvyn (Mel) (reissue cover)
Release Dates: August, 1984 (original)
April 7, 2003 (reissue)
ISBNs: 0140318089 / 9780140318081 (original)
184046433X / 9781840464337 (reissue)
Length:511 sections
Inevitable's Thoughts: After a relaxing romp through the Shamutanti Hills, the city of Kharé is bound to come as a bit of a shock. Not only does the Cityport of Traps provide a multitude of opportunities to be gutted, shanghaied, shoved headlong into the sewer system (repeatedly!), roasted alive by laser-eyed teenagers, guillotined by an innkeeper with a peculiar recipe for stew, and suckered into tongue-kissing a poison-dart spitting statue, but through it all, the player is required to track down four lines of a poem in order to finish the adventure, and failure to do so results in a one-way-ticket right back to the beginning.

In a word: fantastic.

This is the book where the Sorcery! series hits its stride, and the intensity of narrowly avoiding death after death while struggling to meet seemingly insurmountable goals becomes the defining character of the series from this point forward. The monsters are unique and interesting to fight (my favorites being a decomposed corpse that dismembers itself and then swarms you with its various still-battling limbs, and, in the sewers a - well, a poop monster), and the puzzles are thematically appropriate and reasonably challenging.

I only have two criticism, really. Firstly, tracking down the lines of the poem is a real pain, and damn near impossible to do in the first go-round. Secondly, author Steve Jackson really seems to want the player to just out-and-out steal for no good reason; there are at least two encounters where it's just assumed that the player will steal from characters that have done him no harm, no choice is even given to not do so. I actually found myself refusing to add loot to my inventory because it seemed wrong to take it.

Those are minor quibbles though, and all-in-all the book is a true classic.

More reviews by Inevitable

Special Thanks:Thanks to Brett Easterbrook for the Dragon logo cover scan.
Users Who Own This Item: Alarion, aleeg96 (wraparound cover), AlHazred, andrewholt, Aniline, Avenger, B0N0V0X, badboybaggins, BarefootJimmy, Barker1952, bonhomme, bookwormjeff, Braldt, breity (Penguin edition), casperthegoth, Crazyscotsman, CSquared, Cyan, c_wickham (original edition), dArtagnan, Darth Rabbitt ("Red Banner" edition), dave2002a, dblizzard72, Dirk Omnivore, domj29, Dronak (1st reissue in Sorcery! Box Set) (original Penguin wraparound cover), Ed, edwebb, egokun, evilspoon, Fido815, firefoxpdm, Fullerton (diag #), Gallicus (Limited Edition), Gamebook, Gamebook Collector, Gibraltar, gnomeza (Gold Dragon), greyarea13, Gurvo, Haoie, hoops4ever, Ian2405, Icedlake, JamesMulgrue, jeff3333, jr, Jubal, juski, karalynn, katzcollection, khaxzan, killagarilla, killagirilla, kinderstef, knginatl (US, UK orig., UK jagged, UK reissue) (US, UK orig., UK jagged, UK reissue), le maudit, liam0404, Luke, M.Marangio, MacbthPSW, Malthus Dire, MarcusP, MasterChief, mattender, mir1812, mlvoss, Morthynmir, mrtricks (Original and orange zigzag cover), nelsondesign, NEMO (wraparound cover), nerelax, Nich, nicolau (Spanish Devir ed.), ntar (wraparound), odo_ital, Office Linebacker_, Osirian08 (Orange spine), outspaced, peterm2, plowboy, Pseudo_Intellectual, qazplm (reissue), redpiper05, Robert Mammone, Rozo, rpatel1976 (bronze dragon), ryderark (Spanish Altea Version), Ryuran333, Sabreman, Salpynx, Sir Olli, sireeyore (original), skeleton, snakefire77 (original with red jagged band on top), StagQuests (1st Cover), strawberry_brite, Tamerlane1396, terrysalt, thevagrant, Threepwud, tonk82, toxtethogradyworlds, Treguard, Tremendez, Trompe-l Oeil, twar, Twoflower, umbra682000, Wardog, wreade, Yalius
Users Who Want This Item: CSquared, Cyan, demon of the deep lt, domchamon, Dronak (Penguin orange spine), exaquint, Hugues, iguanaditty (any edition), jeremydouglass, khaxzan, MasterChief, punga, truce57, twar, Uraniborg, Von Scotty, yermither, zat
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