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Talisman of Death

(British cover)
(British cover)
(American cover)
Series: Fighting Fantasy #11
Fighting Fantasy Reissues (Series 1) #24
Translated Into: Dødens amulet (Danish)
A haláltalizmán (Hungarian)
Shini-gami no kubi-kazari [死神の首飾り] (Japanese)
O talismã da morte (Portuguese)
O Talismã da Morte (Portuguese)
Le Talisman de la mort (French)
El talismán de la muerte (Spanish)
Der Talisman des Todes (German)
Talisman na smartta [Талисманът на смъртта] (Bulgarian)
Talisman smrti (Czech)
Authors: Smith, Mark
Thomson, Jamie
Illustrators: Jones, Peter Andrew (original cover)
Courtney, R. (American cover)
Harvey, Bob (interior)
Release Dates: December 6, 1984 (original)
September, 1985 (American edition)
April, 2006 (reissue)
ISBNs: 0140318593 / 9780140318593 (British edition)
0440985153 / 9780440985150 (American edition)
Length:400 sections
Braxus's Thoughts: Talisman of Death is one of the last re-issues of Fighting Fantasy, but it was one of the first ones to be written.

Talisman is rather like The Lord of the Rings - you have the talisman, you must journey with it for the sake of the world. Ringwraith-like creatures are on your tail as well as a bunch of warrior women and whatnot.

It's fairly fun, but a little linear. I was enjoying it up until towards the end, when there is a ridiculously hard battle sequence - you must fight a Skill 12 priestess, then the best swordman around along with his sidekick and magical allies. And if you manage all that, then there is a good chance of a sudden death ending near the end.

In short, a decent FF gamebook - not the best, not the worst.

More reviews by Braxus

Kveto's Thoughts: I still haven't finished this one but I expect to soon, and it's not for lack of trying. It's a pretty challenging book and like the others will take many tries to get through. Luckily, it does have a few restart scenarios which don't always make you start from scratch (unlike the Snow Witch).

It has a Narnia fantasy type start in which you get pulled to the world of Orb which is pretty much a standard fantasy world. I kinda wonder why they started with this. It would be something to expect from the first book in a series not book 11. You are entrusted with the Talisman by a group of dying crusaders, giving you a lofty quest.

This book has loads of twists and turns and covers a lot. It starts out moving you through the wilderness. Eventually you meet a gang of female warriors who take you to a town where it then becomes a city crawl. You lose the amulet only to have to enlist a group of thieves to steal it back, before leaving the city and having another wilderness adventure. It even has some logic puzzles to solve.

Much like Snow Witch, you can't tell when it will end. You feel like you defeat several "big bosses" but the quest continues. Hawkana, the high priestess, is the strongest, but you can find lots of stuff to help you fight her along the way.

Overall, a good book and a really great example of the genre with all bases covered.

More reviews by Kveto

Special Thanks:Thanks to Nicholas Campbell for the jagged logo British cover scan.
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