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Sword Daughter's Quest

Series: Dragon Roads #1
Dragontales #1
Alternate Title: Sword Daughter (reissue)
Translated Into: La venganza de Tyrna (Spanish)
Adapted Into: Sword Daughter (Digital Gamebook)
Author: Vilott-Salsitz, Rhondi
Illustrators: Hallman, Tom (cover)
Gilbert, Michael (interior)
Release Dates: July, 1984
May, 2011 (reissue)
ISBN: 0451130820 / 9780451130822
Length:205 pages (introductory section plus 58 "Pathways")
Number of Endings:22
User Summary: The daughter of a general, you are currently on a trip through the Wastes, building your fighting skills so that you can compete in the Warrior Games. Alas, things go downhill for you quickly....
Demian's Thoughts: This book definitely gets the series off to a strong start. It drops the reader quickly into a comfortably familiar fantasy world that seems to be influenced about equally by Tolkien's Middle-earth (there's no doubt that The Hobbit was a major inspiration) and the basic Dungeons & Dragons world (familiar character classes are present). Talk of orcs and elves might confuse a reader completely unfamiliar with the staples of high fantasy, but the lack of excessive explanation of such things is a great relief to veteran fantasy readers. This intentional vagueness also makes it possible for the reader to mentally mould the adventure to fit into the fantasy world of his or her choice. Really, just about everything in the adventure seems fairly generic, from the setting and monsters to the heroes and villains. This didn't bother me, though, since all these generic elements are handled with a certain degree of skill. -- some of the creature encounters were inspired even if the actual creatures were familar (there's a bit with a giant water spider that I particularly enjoyed, for example), and the characters are fairly well-defined, even though the length of the book doesn't really allow them to be developed into anything particularly memorable. My only real complaint about the book involves its romantic elements -- although the story's romance is not entirely unreasonable in concept, the writing style periodically lapses into gaudy prose that undermines the message somewhat and dispels any hope of subtlety. I might have found the romance more believable and moving if there had been less discussion of trembling hands and deep violet eyes. Still, this problem only gets really annoying on certain paths through an otherwise enjoyable book. Since this is a pretty quick read despite the length of its sections, it's not too hard to overlook its flaws.

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SinisterMarmalade's Thoughts: I read this book when I was fourteen, and at the time I thought it was amazing. It isn't bad now, but I was very emo as a teen, so I loved it. I have seriously considered writing Tyrna/Gavin fanfiction (and I'm a guy)! In 3.0 or 3.5 Dungeons and Dragons, however, it would be hard to duplicate their characters. Maybe someone can work it fourth ed., who knows.

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