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Item - The Unicorn Crown

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(Dragontales edition)

Combined Summary

Series: Dragon Roads — no. 7
Dragontales — no. 5
Alternate Title: The Crown and the Unicorn (reissue)
Author: Vilott-Salsitz, Rhondi
Illustrators: Miller, Kirk (Dragon Roads edition)
Hallman, Tom (Dragontales edition - cover)
Tanz, Freya (Dragontales edition - interior)
Dates: October, 1984 (Dragontales edition)
July, 2011 (Dragon Roads edition)
ISBN: 0451132025 / 9780451132024 (Dragontales edition)
Length: 189 pages (introductory section plus 49 "Pathways")
Number of Endings: 22
User Summary: Although your current occupation involves washing dishes, you are an ambitious weaver and hope to someday be rich. For the moment, though, you'll be happy to catch a glimpse of the unicorn that is predicted to determine a new ruler for your currently kingless land....
Demian's Thoughts:

I found this book rather more entertaining than the previous one. Although its paths are fairly diverse in length and nature, the ones I traveled down were not overly contradictory of one another. It's by no means the best of the series, though. The characterization is a little thin, with the potential romantic interests not seeming overly alluring and the player character displaying at least one emotional outburst that is more startling to the player than it is effective to the story. The adventure itself works adequately, especially along its lengthier pathways, but its effectiveness is undermined by the fact that the big dangers that threaten the reader are too easily defeated. The book doesn't conjure up the feeling of overcoming great obstacles that can be found in more challenging quests, and its characters don't do enough to fill the void left by the missing threats. The presence of enough typos and errors to suggest a certain degree of editorial indifference are a final black mark on the book. This is by no means an awful book, but it's not much more than average.

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Shadeheart's Thoughts:

[Rating: 3/10]
[Recommended? NO]

Rhondi Vilott's "Dragontales" gamebooks are a pleasantly refreshing exploration of the limitless potential of the epic fantasy genre, providing within each title an adventurous sort of excursion into danger with a bit of romance on the side. It shouldn't come as a surprise that the same approach returns in "The Unicorn Crown", what with its fairly lengthy quest of a familiar nature and the way readers are intended to play through it. Distinctively different enough in tone yet reminiscent of both the "HeartQuest" and "Endless Quest" series in more ways than I predicted, this is a moderately paced story with a commendably well-conceived setting and cast of characters (for the most part), and while the narrative and set-up are admittedly on the predictable side of things, the eloquently fashioned tone is quite readable. It's a seamless experience overall, but I couldn't help finding myself strangely dissatisfied by the end of it; perhaps I was hoping for something a little more ambitious or innovative, since I thoroughly enjoyed reading good portions of the book and found it ended before it made much use of what the experience had going for it. Is that a bad thing? Not necessarily - but it made me more analytical upon my next few re-reading exercises, to which I came to the conclusion that, alas, some paths are more satisfying than others, and that the intuitive incompleteness was owing to the fact that not every path was... well, completely written.

This title is recommended to a precisely particular extent: a majority of fantasy readers and gamebook lovers alike will relish in the refreshing feel and thoughtfully designed adventure offered here. But a few warnings are to be had (which keep me from recommending this title wholly) - not all copies are created equal! Original printing editions feature proper passage pointing, well-formatted pages and some absolutely stunning cover artwork by the brilliant Tom Hallman... while reprintings and reissues are cheap, shallow, incorrectly embedded and outright ugly to look at, if not unreadable and inaccessible (numerous errors, omissions and problems with the writing itself). Furthermore, don't be surprised if the entirety of the book is not as good as the best parts (ex. alternative routes)... but don't be afraid to give this one a shot if this sounds up your alley! ^^

(Mysteriously disappears into the shadows.)

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Errata:The second choice in the introduction should lead to page 162, not page 63. The choices on page 118 list page numbers in place of pathway numbers.
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Known Editions

Dragontales edition
Dragon Roads edition

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