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Trial of Champions

(British cover)
(British cover)
(American cover)
(reissue cover)
Series: Fighting Fantasy (1982-1995, Puffin) #21
Fighting Fantasy (2002-2007, Wizard Books Series 1) #12
Fighting Fantasy (2009-2012, Wizard Books Series 2) #12
Contained In: Fighting Fantasy Adventure Gamebox (Collection)
Translated Into: Bajnokok próbája (Hungarian)
Desafio dos Campeões (Portuguese)
O desafio dos campeões (Portuguese)
L'Epreuve des champions (French)
Heltenes prøve (Danish)
Izpitanie za shampioni [Изпитание за шампиони] (Bulgarian)
Meikyu-tanken-kyougi [迷宮探検競技] (Japanese)
Prova dos campeões (Portuguese)
Der Wettstreit der Gladiatoren (German)
Zápas mistrů (Czech)
Adapted Into: Trial of Champions (Role-Playing Material)
Author: Livingstone, Ian
Illustrators: Williams, Brian (original artwork)
McKenna, Martin (reissue cover)
Release Dates: June 26, 1986 (original)
May, 1987 (American edition)
June 2, 2003 (reissue)
ISBNs: 0140320393 / 9780140320398 (original)
0440986893 / 9780440986898 (American edition)
1840464348 / 9781840464344 (reissue)
Length:400 sections
User Summary: You are a slave to the evil brother of Lord Sukumvit, famous as the creator of Deathtrap Dungeon. Supposing you survive his arena, you will be his entrant in the newly renovated dungeon.
Fireguard's Thoughts: Deathtrap Dungeon is of course the finest book penned by Ian Livingstone, but that's the case mainly because the dungeon crawl/scavenger hunt formula he's so fond of is explained so much better there than in any of his other books where the formula appears. It makes sense Livingstone would try to recapture the magic of his best book, but it just doesn't work nearly as well as it did the first time around.

It certainly tries to be more epic than before, with the other contestants being a bunch of warlords and princes rather than simple adventurers. The new Deathtrap Dungeon is a lot more dull, though, and the trials leading up to it aren't particularly interesting either. The encounter with the elf is also almost depressingly similar to the one with the elf from the earlier book. That in particular killed a lot of my desire to stick with the book if Livingstone was going to be that obvious about it.

Really, the most interesting thing about the book is probably what Livingstone did in the way of a sequel to this one.

More reviews by Fireguard

Kveto's Thoughts: This book is actually a return to the Deathtrap Dungeon from earlier in the series (which I hadn't read before this one) which is a kind of deadly maze created for the amusement of a Baron Sukumvit. But that is only the second half of the book.

The first and more interesting half has you captured and forced to compete as a slave in different gladiatorial combats as you and the other slaves are whittled down to the one selected to enter the dungeon. There are a number of different events, my favorite being a blindfolded combat with flails as depicted on the cover. In an almost cute way, rather than assigning nationalities to the slaves, they are referred to as Easterners (East Asians), Northerners (Vikings?) and Southerners (black Africans).

The dungeon itself feels kind of standard, the only really interesting part is that you can encounter (and fight) other champions participating in the trial. However, the final sequence is a much more rewarding ending than a pile of treasure.

More reviews by Kveto

Special Thanks:Thanks to Nicholas Campbell for the jagged-logo British cover scan and to Fireguard for the plot summary.
Users Who Own This Item: aehalpin, Alarion, andrewholt, andyr, Aniline, auximenes, Avenger, B0N0V0X, badboybaggins, BarefootJimmy, Barker1952, bigcobra, bookwormjeff (UK), Braxus, cayh_dilg, Citadel1963, clotho, convict7421, Count Heydrich, crazydave, crispybacon, CSquared, Cyan, c_wickham, dArtagnan, dave2002a, dblizzard72, demon of the deep lt, desdichado66, devilsboy, Dirk Omnivore, domj29, Dronak (1st reissue Special Limited Edition), drystan, Ed, edwebb, EegahInc, egokun, evilspoon, Ffghtermedic, Fido815, firefoxpdm, Fireguard, frosty88 (original), fushek, Gallicus (Limited Edition), Gamebook, Gamebook Collector, Gartax, Gibraltar (original green band cover), gnomeza, greyarea13, Haoie, hoops4ever, Ian2405, Icedlake, jeff3333, JiPi, jr, Jubal, juski, katzcollection, khaxzan, killagarilla, killagirilla, kinderstef, knginatl (US, UK reissue) (US, UK reissue), le maudit, lewstherin, liam0404, MacbthPSW, Malthus Dire, MarcusP, marnaudo, MasterChief, mattender, mir1812, mlvoss, Mr ? (British Edition), nelsondesign, nerelax, Nich, noelob, odo_ital, Office Linebacker_, Osirian08, outspaced, Pessimeister (dragon edition), peterm2, Pirrakas, plowboy, Pseudo_Intellectual, qazplm (green stripe), Radjabov, redpiper05, Rozo, ryderark, Sabreman, Salpynx, sick_boy, Sir Olli, sireeyore, skeleton, snakefire77 (britisch first edition in brand new condition), spragmatic, StagQuests (US & UK 2nd cover), Tamerlane1396, terrysalt, ThaRid (Penguin, no green banner (1987)), Treble Incognito ((UK)), Treguard, Tremendez, truce57, twar, Twoflower, umbra682000, Uraniborg (UK), Vampireman, Virtua Sinner, Wardog, xinuz, Yalius, Zolika
Users Who Want This Item: bonhomme, bookwormjeff (US), CSquared, Cyan, exaquint, Faberwest, horrorbusiness, Househeart, Lambchop, mrwalker, NEMO (original&american) (reissue), Nomad, ThisIslandEarth, twar, Uraniborg, Von Scotty, Waluigi Freak 99, zat
Users with Extra Copies: Cyan
devilsboy
jr - Zig-Zag Cover
killagarilla
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MacbthPSW
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Sir Olli
twar - American edition, with small cover crease and pencil markings on character sheet.
Yalius

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