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Item - The Dragons' Den

(First printing)
(First printing)
(Troll edition)

Combined Summary

Series: Choose Your Own Adventure (1979-1998) — no. 33
Translated Into: Barlogata na drakonite [Бърлогата на драконите] (Bulgarian)
El cau dels dracs (Catalan)
A caverna dos dragoes (Portuguese)
La guarida de los dragones (Spanish)
Herensugeen gordelekua (Basque)
La tana del drago (Italian)
Author: Brightfield, Richard
Illustrators: Granger, Paul (pseudonym used by Hedin, Don) (cover)
Abrams, Paul (interior)
Date: June, 1984 (First printing)
ISBNs: 0553165100 / 9780553165104 (Troll edition)
0553242490 / 9780553242492 (First printing)
Length: 116 pages
Number of Endings: 22
User Summary: You are a wandering adventurer in search of treasure in a time of wizards and dragons.
Demian's Thoughts:

This is about as generic a fantasy as you can find; really the only things that make this book stand out at all are a few mildly humorous anachronisms. Other series have done this sort of thing a lot more interestingly. Speaking of other series, it's worth noting that Richard Brightfield also wrote some books in the Your AMAZING Adventures series featuring a dragon master similar to the one in this book.

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drereichdude's Thoughts:

Well, despite what Demian said about this being a "generic" adventure, I enjoyed reading it. The dragons in this book are not evil per se, they are just extremely protective of the vast amount of treasure they are guarding within their mountain.

You play an adventurer who wants to find some of this treasure, and you travel into the mountain with a young woman, Virgana, and the wizard Zarkon. There is also a subplot involving bringing a dwarf named Gnali back to his village. And there is a time-displaced "dragon master" to watch out for as well. What point in history he comes from, the book doesn't say. But it's irrelevant, as he and his sorceress accomplice need to be defeated in order to stop the dragons from attacking the surrounding kingdoms, and that does happen in one positive ending.

I first read this about 20 years ago, and I remember it fondly. This is probably my favorite Richard Brightfield CYOA title, although Invaders of the Planet Earth and Planet of the Dragons were good as well, but the dragons in that book were mostly machines!

Anyway, I think this book is just fine. Read it today!

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Good's Thoughts:

One path goes (Not trusting them) Boom end, go on; End, go on... The other path (Trusting them) is more interesting: You can choose in the mountain, or taking another path. The wizard Zarcon is strange. Fun, but won't last long in my collection! 5/10

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Guillermo's Thoughts:

(Review based on the Spanish translation.)

This isn't a generic adventure at all; it mixes a setting like that of the The Flight of Dragons animated film with an alternate history where (apparently) the Nazis try to use dragons to win World War II. Cross-genre fiction of any kind is very unusual in gamebooks, so this is a nice change of pace. I would have enjoyed the book even more if the alternate history part was more fleshed out, but unfortunately Richard Brightfield's penchant for unnecessary vagueness got the best of him here as well. Still, the book has quite a bit to recommend it. It's worth noting that this is probably the only dungeon crawl in the entire CYOA series. Finding the optimal ending can be challenging, but several of the other endings are quite satisfying, making this book fun to read several times. As yunakitty mentions below, Paul Abrams' great illustrations help a lot to set up the tone (I recommend you also check out his work in the Your AMAZING Adventures series). Overall, this is a great gamebook.

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yunakitty's Thoughts:

This book was reminiscent of the HeartQuest books to me for some reason, particularly #1. And that's a good thing. I really enjoyed this book. All the different paths were interesting. I personally think that Tarlane, the dragon master from the future, was a Nazi. Something about the way he was drawn, that jacket and monocle. But I'm probably wrong. Anyway, the artwork is great in this one too. I wish Paul Abrams drew more of the illustrations in other books. Having well drawn pictures really adds to the story more than I think they realize. There are a lot of grim endings in this one, but since it's so well written, even those are enjoyable to read. I recommend this one for your collection, and it's pretty easy to find - I had 3 copies at one time from buying assorted lots to get other ones I needed!

More reviews by yunakitty

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Known Editions

First printing
Troll edition

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