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Item - Black Dragon's Curse

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(Dragontales edition)

Combined Summary

Series: Dragon Roads — no. 9
Dragontales — no. 6
Alternate Title: Draco's Revenge (reissue)
Translated Into: La Mal├ędiction du dragon noir (French)
Author: Vilott-Salsitz, Rhondi
Illustrators: Miller, Kirk (Dragon Roads edition)
Hallman, Tom (Dragontales edition - cover)
Tanz, Freya (Dragontales edition - interior)
Dates: 1984 (Dragontales edition)
January, 2012 (Dragon Roads edition)
User Summary: While gathering firewood, you accidentally unearth a cursed staff, and must find a way to break its influence before you home faces ruin.
Fireguard's Thoughts:

Black Dragon's Curse isn't bad but it lacks flavor, and the messages about the power of friendship are a tad trite.

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Kveto's Thoughts:

This the first series I learnt about from Demian's page and purchased. I've been looking for a series similar to the Endless Quest books and it really feels that this is it.

You play a young woodsman who comes into possession of a cursed staff, which curses your village. You must quest to find a solution to the curse and are offered a number of separate paths. It has a young protagonist and a noble selfless quest and the world might as well be a D&D world so there's so much to like.

It even has a Rose Estes type companion character, the dragon staff itself, which you can't put down, but with a fun twist. It wants you to return it to its master and actively works to make things difficult for you, for example in one instance while you are hiding from a band of robbers, the staff says "Hey, those are my kind of people" and calls out to them.

You can have a love interest on some paths and there is a lot of replayability. I very much enjoy Rhondi Vilott's writing style.

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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 "Black Dragon's Curse", 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.)

More reviews by Shadeheart

Special Thanks:Thanks to Fireguard for the plot summary.
Users Who Own This Item: Ardennes, auximenes, bookwormjeff, dave2002a, EegahInc, Erikwinslow, Fireguard, horrorbusiness, jdreller, katzcollection, killagarilla, kinderstef, knginatl, Kveto, marnaudo, mlvoss, Naniyue, Nomad, ntar, SherlockHolmes, spragmatic, ThaRid, Tremendez, twar, Yalius
Users Who Want This Item: Aryon, CSquared, exaquint, Ffghtermedic, Gartax, Lambchop, NEMO, Pseudo_Intellectual, waktool

Known Editions

Dragontales edition
Dragon Roads edition

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