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The Demon Spider

(British cover)
(American cover)
Series: Adventures of Goldhawk #2
Author: Livingstone, Ian
Illustrators: Dewey, Simon (British cover)
Nicholson, Russ (interior and American cover)
Release Date: 1995
Length:73 sections
Number of Endings:12
dArtagnan's Thoughts: The second Goldhawk book sees you being promoted from Prince to King of Karazan and your new kingdom is already in peril. An army of orcs, undead and druids (equipped with not very threatening sounding terror bubbles) is about to march on the Kingdom and your only hope is to get the aid of the man mountain Stonehammer (Marris' estranged son who turned himself into a giant rockman one day because he thought drinking an unlabelled potion in his dad's laboratory sounded like a bit of a lark). Anyway the only person who knows how to get Stonehammer's aid is the mysterious Queen of Pain who lives on the far side of a desert swarming with various beasties and grim reapers who pop up to ask people trivia questions for no particular reason. So it's up to Goldhawk, Orlando and the ever complaining Edge to save the day again.

In most ways, The Demon Spider is an improvement on Darkmoon's Curse. For one thing, no glaring errors to worry about, the plot is a bit less cliched and the encounters are a bit more interesting. Sadistic camel-men, sarcastic nomads and the opportunity to watch a "belly race" make this book more entertaining than the previous one. It has its bad points however. It suffers somewhat from Armies of Death syndrome where seemingly useless items you come accross turn out to be exactly what you need to get past an obstacle and it allows even less deviation from the one true path than Darkmoon's Curse did. It also requires you to fight a tough enemy to the death and unlike the previous book there is no way to improve your Initial Skill beforehand. The puzzles are once again fairly easy, though perhaps a little tougher than those of Darkmoon's Curse.

Still, for the most part this is a fun, colourful and entertainingly written if very linear book and is worth a read.

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