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Talisman of Valdegarde

Series: HeartQuest #2
Author: Simon, Madeleine (pseudonym used by Simon, Morris)
Illustrators: Elmore, Larry (cover)
Holloway, James (Jim) (interior)
Release Date: 1983
User Summary: Your father, a powerful archdruid, disappeared years ago fighting evil. One day you meet a handsome bard who tells you your father is not only most likely alive, but has created a means to restore peace to your forest.
Fireguard's Thoughts: After the biggest misstep in Ring of the Ruby Dragon, we see a protagonist with a few useful abilities but who, unfortunately, is still saddled with an overly helpful love interest. I'm serious, he's so well-schooled he verges on being omniscent, and kicks monster butt on top of that. The writing is sometimes dodgy as well: I remember at least two choices where you ended up at the same place regardless of what you chose to do (or died).

I wanted to like Talisman of Valdegarde. I've never played another gamebook where I was a druid. The main problem is the story simply doesn't take advantage of it, and we're left with another HeartQuest installment that doesn't live up to what it could've been.

More reviews by Fireguard

Kveto's Thoughts: My second Heartquest, the first thing you notice is that the male author is using a female nom de plume. I guess they fear girls are less likely to read male authors. Interestingly, most of the Endless Quest authors are women writing for boys (who don't seem to have this hang up). The cover art by Elmore is very fantasy-romance.

You play Gwynee, a young druid, whose sister gets kidnapped by a troll in the ruins of Valdegarde. You are helped along by Niel, a half-elf.

This one isn't quite as good as the last one. I'm not sure what a druid's powers are, and after reading I'm still not sure. Unlike the last book, there is only one love interest here. The book keeps suggesting not to trust him, but as he's the only choice, that's the only way to get to the "juicy" romance parts. Niel is pretty annoying, as he seems to be about five different things rolled into one. He's an elf, a bard, a ranger, a fighter, a thief, (and probably a cleric and a wizard, as well), making you feel pretty redundant.

It has a number of obscure monsters: a Flind, half-orc, a mimic, a piercer, etc., which is fun for me but probably not for the target audience. And I do enjoy the "kiss him or not" types of choices. :-)

A fair book.

More reviews by Kveto

Special Thanks:Thanks to Fireguard for the plot summary.
Users Who Own This Item: Ardennes, bonhomme, bookwormjeff, Cyan, Demian, Ffghtermedic, Fireguard, horrorbusiness, katzcollection, kinderstef, Kiyanayah, knginatl, Kveto, LadyV, MacbthPSW, marnaudo, mattender, mlvoss, Nomad, ntar, outspaced, Pseudo_Intellectual, redpiper05, RonaldFrobnitz, Shuriken, spragmatic, twar, ukyo-chan, Von Scotty, yunakitty
Users Who Want This Item: exaquint, NEMO
Users with Extra Copies: Fireguard
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