L'impossible mission (French)
Patyat na sadbata [Пътят на съдбата] (Bulgarian)
Shisha no kuni kara kaere! [死者の国から還れ！] (Japanese)
Viaggio all'inferno (Italian)
Wingate, Geoff (cartography)
August 20, 2014
0340423978 / 9780340423974
1909905194 / 9781909905191 (reissue)
Doomwalk was a slight comedown from the high point of The Demon's Claw. Even more than previously, the mixing of mythologies became a little bewildering. All of a sudden, we get the introduction of Norse legends into a previously (chiefly) Islamic / Christian setting.
At any rate, in Doomwalk you journey through the underworld in an attempt to retrieve the Blood Sword, which was snatched near the end of the previous book by Icon (or Aiken), your arch-enemy.
The story suffers from a lack of scope compared with the previous two books, and the encounters are a little less memorable. Nevertheless, the final confrontation with your arch-foe does resonate, and you finish ready for the final book in the series.
The cliffhanger ending from the previous book in the series, The Demon's Claw, ensures that this the fourth book in the series starts off hot in the action! Previously your party had just succeeded in assembling the hilt, scabbard and blade of the Blood Sword, the last item on Legend that could stop the Five Magi from ushering in the Apocalypse. However a cunning reversal by Messrs. Morris and Johnson (the authors) saw victory snatched away from you in the final pages of the last book by having your arch enemy, the fiendish warlock known as Icon the Ungodly, grab hold of the Blood Sword and drag it down with him to Hell after your cold steel and eldritch magicks had seen him sneer his last insult! (It was *so* satisfying as a kid to dispatch that villain, and the moment when I read that he had taken the Blood Sword with him was just fab! Gutting, but fab!)
This book sees your party racing after the soul of Icon into the very depths of Sheol (Hell) in a quest to retrieve the Blood Sword. A number of tropes from Greek mythology make their entrance in this book, which to my mind felt somewhat odd after the high fantasy Arabian Nights style highjinks of the previous book. Your party is assisted in their quest to find the spiteful Icon by a helpful chap who is most handy with a blade and who knows the tortured landscape of Sheol quite well. (Even as a kid it was blindingly obvious who this chap was, but it didn't - and doesn't - spoil the palpable sense of tension that is present in the book.) I won't spoil it for you if you haven't guessed, but I will say that Icon the Ungodly gets his well deserved come-uppance at the end of the book and it was again *so* satisfying to rid the world of Icon for good. Quality writing from the authors really made me feel that Icon was a worthy nemesis, and so the payoff from completing this entry in the series is pretty high, even if the adventure itself is so-so.
All in all, Doomwalk is a fine continuation in the series, and the ending leaves your characters primed and ready to take the fight to the Magi in the fifth and final entry in the series... The Walls of Spyte.
|Special Thanks:||Thanks to sireeyore for the cover images.|
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