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Item - The Den of Dragons

(British cover)
(American cover)
Series: Grailquest — no. 2
Contained In: Grailquest Boxed Set (Collection)
Translated Into: L'Antre des dragons (French)
Caccia al drago (Italian)
La caverna del dragón (Spanish)
Doragon no doukutsu [ドラゴンの洞窟] (Japanese)
Dračí sluj (Czech)
Dragens grotte (Danish)
Author: Brennan, J. H. (Herbie)
Illustrator: Higgins, John
Date: 1984
utfanatic's Thoughts: On the heels of the very good Castle of Darkness, Den of Dragons was a bit of a letdown for me. The writing style remains essentially the same, but the humour gets a tad old after a bit. As well, I didn't find the adventure concept that much fun. At one point, you are wandering around and a magical village appears before you, which you can enter. Every building is numbered and you can visit them in whichever sequence you like. Entering at least one of these buildings leads to certain death as the cottage collapses on you.

You are also given the ability to purchase items, weapons, and armor early on, and practically every item comes in handy along the way. With the weapons, magic, and healing you have at your disposal, fights are no real threat whatsoever.

At one point late in the quest, there is a mistake as leaving the room in passage 139 by passage 157 takes you to a fight against shadows which you only encounter after opening a chest. Leaving by section 154 leads you to step over the body of a creature you have not yet faced or defeated.

At the beginning of the book, I was excited, as a new magic system is introduced, new items are available for purchase, and you can carry forward items from the past adventure as well as 10 life points from the first quest. However, I quickly became bored with the adventure. For me, it just had no spark or sizzle. Not a bad book for me, just not great. It has some great functional elements and ideas, but fights and healing seem a little unbalanced, and the story never really hooked me in.

Rating 1-10: 6.5

More reviews by utfanatic

Special Thanks:Thanks to B. Banzai for the American cover scan.
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