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Item - Pillars of Pentegarn

Series: Endless Quest — no. 3
Contained In: The Endless Quest Collectors Set #1 (Collection)
Translated Into: A'amidat al-sahir [أعمدة الساهر] (Arabic)
Le colonne di Pentegarn (Italian)
Les Colonnes de Pentergarn (French)
Las columnas de Pentegarn (Spanish)
As colunas de Pentegarn (Portuguese)
Die Säulen von Pentegarn (German)
Zamukut na Pentegarn [Замъкът на Пентегарн] (Bulgarian)
Author: Estes, Rose
Illustrators: Elmore, Larry (cover)
Quinn, Harry J. (interior)
Date: June, 1982
ISBN: 093569692X / 9780935696929
Length: 153 pages
Number of Endings: 10
User Summary: You are Jaimie, a villager with the ability to speak with animals. You and your animal friends Fox and Owl assist a party of adventurers in exploring the ruins of Castle Pentegarn.
Demian's Thoughts:

While the story doesn't really feel right as a D&D adventure, this is a well-structured gamebook. Most of the choices dramatically affect the course of the adventure, making this book worth reading more than once, even if you get a good ending the first time.

More reviews by Demian

Kveto's Thoughts:

Now this was one of my first Endless Quests, so it's hard to be objective, but I loved it then and still like it a lot.

In this book, you are Jaimie, a young villager with a number of animal friends. Some readers didn't like the idea of playing young children rather than competent adults. As a kid, I found it much easier to relate to. I could much more easily imagine myself as the 12 year old Jaimie rather than a full grown adult warrior. It felt like I (young Kvetoslav) was walking around in a fantasy world.

This story has you joining a party of adventurers: the deposed wizard king Pentegarn, the warrior Baltek and the Elf Thief Lydia. It feels more like a D&D adventure for this aspect, although it means that it feels a bit awkward having you, the youngest, make the choices. This is solved by often having Jaimie cast the deciding vote when the characters disagree. And Lydia is the first female character in the series and a very interesting character.

This book has multiple endings so can be replayed often. In fact, on different choices, different members of the party can get killed off, making the stakes feel higher. In fact, some of the "failed" endings are more fun than successful ones. My favourite involves the thief Lydia falling for a trap and getting turned into a skeleton, then having the hero Baltek heroically sacrifice himself tackling a trio of goblins over a cliff.

The book has an almost melancholy mood upon it, which I still feel. Even the happy endings feel a bit sad. This is greatly aided by the artwork which is some of the best interior art ever by Harry J. Quinn. The art is greatly detailed but always has a dark and dismal aspect, the feeling that runs through the novel.

This is certainly Rose Estes' best work, and a great example of the genre.

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utfanatic's Thoughts:

The best of the first 3 books, for my money. Rose Estes' writing seems to keep getting better as well. Although there are plenty of meaty passages, unlike book 2, you don't go 10 pages without being offered a choice here in Pillars of Pentegarn. What's more, the vast majority of choices are quite meaningful, which also leads to a quite high replayability factor. As well, a major plus is that you can return to previous sections to make different choices, increasing options tremendously.

Decent backstory, good writing, meaningful choices, but... talking animal companions! As well, as in most Endless Quest books, battles are not handled very well, and the reader has no say in their outcome.

All in all, definitely worth reading.

Rating 1-10: 7

More reviews by utfanatic

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Users with Extra Copies: Blame it on Rio
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Thanks to Jim Oaks for the image!