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Item - Saga of Old City

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Series: Greyhawk Novels — no. 1
Author: Gygax, Gary
Illustrator: Caldwell, Clyde
Date: October, 1985
ISBN: 0880382570 / 9780880382571
Product Code: 8240
Length: 352 pages
Kveto's Thoughts:

This is the first of the Greyhawk novels, written by D&D founder Gary Gygax. Gygax wrote the first two novels about his character, Gord the Rogue, before he was forced out of TSR and continued Gord's adventures in an independent series.

Gygax is a talented writer of D&D adventure modules, where his descriptive prowess and creativity are put to good use. Most of the info I had about the Gord novels suggested that they were not up to par. While I didn't find it particularly enthralling, it wasn't so bad either.

The saga of the old city introduces the protagonist Gord, an orphan growing up in a slum city. The opening chapters do well at showing the utter poverty and hopelessness of Gord's early years. He joins a group of beggar thieves and gets involved in a gang war. Although Gord is short, he rising in the ranks due to his skill as a thief. The book is a bit of a tour of the Greyhawk world, which is very human-centric. It takes at least half the novel before any monsters appear. I have never really seen what is so special about Greyhawk as if feels like a generic D&D fantasy world.

The weak point of the novel is Gord himself, as he is a little too competent and good-hearted, a real Mary Sue type character. Overall, a half-decent novel. It is a novel, but could work as a gamebook relatively easily, with the travels of Gord taking him to different parts of the world.

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