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Dragontales — no. 4
The Wizard's Towers (reissue)
Les Tours de Rexor (French)
(Dragon Roads edition)
Hallman, Tom (Dragontales edition - cover)
Tanz, Freya (Dragontales edition - interior)
August, 1984 (Dragontales edition)
June, 2011 (Dragon Roads edition)
0451130855 / 9780451130853
189 pages (introductory section plus 55 "Pathways") |
|Number of Endings:||
|User Summary:||You are a young bard about to meet the king of the court in which you have been sent to work. Alas, all is not well in the kingdom, and you will soon need to use your skills for more than entertainment....|
This book is a bit better-paced than the last one; most of its paths are satisfyingly long, and there's a lot of exploration to do along the way, making for decent replay value. Unfortunately, in other respects, it's not as strong. Things start out promisingly enough, with the reader being given decent motivation for going on a quest and with the story's villain sounding like a complex and potentially interesting character rather than yet another boring megalomaniac. Unfortunately, though, the book doesn't really use its promise to its fullest. On many paths, the reader never discovers exactly what is going on, and even when explanations are given, they tend to dramatically contradict one another. This inconsistency actually made me like the book less and less with each reading -- I started over a few times so that I could find out more about what seemed like a complex story, but each reading further suggested that there actually wasn't anything like a coherent plot hiding in the book. Some of the individual paths are quite interesting, but their lack of unity undermines the book as a whole. In the end, I was mostly frustrated, which is a shame, since some of these pieces could have been put together into a much more effective whole.
Another solid entrant to the series, this time with a male protagonist. You play Colin, an apprentice bard, meaning that you have a single spell (charm) at your disposal.
You volunteer to rescue a headstrong young princess from her father's former advisor, Rexor. Rexor is an interesting mystery as they don't give you much info on him, leaving you wondering exactly what you are facing (and even wondering if you are on the right side). Luckily, the endings differ, leading you to continue to search for different answers to the mysteries.
The world feels like D&D, with griffons and mimics, but also a bit Alice in Wonderland with talking mops and chutes that fall upwards. The love interest feels a bit out of your league but within the realm of fairytale endings.
Interesting extra: the final page of my copy has a feedback form that they ask you to fill out and post to the author. It asks you to rank a wide variety of factors, such as plot, male protagonist, female protagonist and even the colours on the cover artwork. It also asks you to rate other series', such as Endless Quest, Fighting Fantasy, etc., which I assume were their main rivals.
I wonder if feedback of this type caused the shift in writing style away from romance to adventure, at least in the male-centered books. But I also wonder how many people actually bothered to fill out the info as it is a bit long and to be honest, I have no idea how I would rank the colours on the cover from 1-10. I mean, there are colours, but beyond that....
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Known EditionsDragontales edition
Dragon Roads edition