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Item - Les mines du roi Salomon


Series: La Saga du Prêtre Jean — no. 3
Alternate Title: King Solomon's Mines (literal English translation of title)
Translated Into: Las minas del rey Salomón (Spanish)
Die Minen des Salomo (German)
Le miniere di re Salomone (Italian)
Authors: Pagel, Michel
Monrocq, Dominique
Headline, Doug
Illustrators: Terpant, Jacques (cover)
Juszezak, D'Erik (interior)
Date: 1986
ISBN: 2010117255 / 9782010117251
Length: 580 sections
Number of Endings: 24
User Summary: Prester John is still on his way to Shangri-La. Antarsis, the priest of Ancient Egypt, told you that he didn't know the exact path to Shangri-La but someone close to King Solomon did. That man, called Nikanor, is an advisor of the famed wise king. Antarsis assured you that Nikanor had been to Shangri-La and magically transported you to the tenth century B.C. to help you meet Nikanor. Before you went, the priest gave the "Magic Eye" (l'Oeil Magique in French), a powerful magic item that enables you to instantly kill an enemy with its strong magic power (but only if the text allows you to use it). So now, we're on our road to meet King Solomon....
Feldrin's Thoughts: Once again, this book sends you to a new era, with a well-known figure, King Solomon the wise. The Magic Eye is a very useful item, much like the Sommerswerd in the Lone Wolf series. However, this book is no match to the first two books, and to put it bluntly, it's a pretty bad one. This series is interesting because of the many paths it allows you to take (especially in the beginning) and because clever use of items can help you avoid difficult fights. That's not the case this time. I can't divide this book in 3 parts. There's a short "story" part where you meet King Solomon, but there are only 2 or 3 short paths, and the good one is fairly easy to guess. Then you learn that Nikanor has been jailed in King Solomon's mines of diamond, devastated by an unknown monster called "White Death." Your mission is to defeat it and hope Nikanor is still alive.

You don't meet many people and spend your time dealing with this "dungeon." There are very few items and many fights. They can't be avoided through the finding of items, and most are rather tough (the majority of opponents have SP scores of 14, which is equal to rolling an 8 when creating your character). The difficulty is shown by the stats of my attempts to win: 4 deaths because of a double 1, 4 deaths in a fight and 2 for a bad choice. My guess is that there's a good path that has few fights and enables you to win even with low stats, but if there is, I never found it. As in the other books, you can find scrolls with spells, but as in my previous reviews I didn't find them.

Overall, I'm disappointed with this one. Fewer interaction with characters, many tough fights and the adventure can be summarized as a big "underground dungeon," like in the first Fighting Fantasy book. I'm personally not very fond of this sort of gamebook, but if you are, you might enjoy Les mines du roi Salomon more than I did. Now, let's race to book 4 to see the next part of Prester John's quest....

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