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Item - Pillars of Pentegarn

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Combined Summary

Online Full Text: Internet Archive (Second printing)
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)
Dates: June, 1982 (First printing)
July, 1982 (Second printing)
March, 1983 (Fifth printing)
ISBN: 093569692X / 9780935696929 (First printing, Second printing, Fifth printing)
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.
auximenes's Thoughts:

The Pillars of Pentegarn is one of the best entries in the Endless Quest series. It produced one sequel (Revenge of the Rainbow Dragons). I find the setting and characters to be so charming I wish more adventures had been written. I could see Jamie and his companions, Owl and Fox, in novels, comics, or even an animated series.

As young Jamie, you assist the exiled Wizard-King Pentegarn in reclaiming his Kingdom from a pretty generic Dark Lord who commands hordes of skeletons and goblins. Along with your talking animal companions you are joined by Baltek the fighter and Lydia the elven thief.

It’s standard fantasy fare but very well done. You face ethical choices and the possibilities of winning a kingdom, bittersweet failures, or gruesome deaths. In some story lines the sacrifice and death of main characters have great emotional impact.

The interior art work is stunning, as is Elmore’s cover of the adventuring party facing a Dracolich.

This adventure gets 5 out of 5 stars.

More reviews by auximenes

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.

More reviews by Kveto

Shadeheart's Thoughts:

[Rating: 5/10]
[Recommended? YES]

The "Endless Quest" series soars to new heights with its first truly exciting and immersive title in "Pillars of Pentegarn". Equal parts entertaining and atmospheric, the author - honoring the source material while making it distinctive enough of an original standalone to be universally enjoyable - deserves praise for rising to the occasion here in many senses of the phrase. Jaimie, despite being little more than a self-insertable child, is excellently handled (and well-balanced with the choices and dialectic tone); on top of this, the characters (Pentegarn, Lydia, Baltek, Owl, Fox, Tree, etc.) are well-thought-out and planned through when it comes to the humor, plot pacing and execution of moments and scenes. Though the book seldom dives into anything deeper than light-hearted fantasy quest fare, the book still manages to pull through well enough to make for a satisfying adventure.

A significant weakness, however, is still present nevertheless: the gamebook interactivity and choice-making "gameplay" feels slightly underwhelming, even though it is undoubtedly used more objectively and intelligently here. The choices are actually meaningful in this gamebook, even though there's always an obvious right answer (an unsurprising spoiler: courage will be rewarded, and it's worth raising the stakes for a raised reward). Similarly, a combat-based system could've heightened the senses and added an element of urgency/impact to the story overall - but, of course, the book still manages to work as it stands. Within my endless love of fantasy, this gamebook quest, considering my recommendation standards, is a worthy-enough legend that SHALL pass. ^^

(Mysteriously disappears into the shadows.)

More reviews by Shadeheart

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

Users Who Own This Item: 20FacesOfFate (Sixth Printing), Alatar001, AlHazred, Ardennes, auximenes, B0N0V0X, bigcobra, bookwormjeff, breity, Chanticrow, convict7421, Crazyscotsman, CSquared, Cyan, damieng, dArtagnan, dave2002a, Demian, Dirk Omnivore, drystan, Eamonn McCusker, EegahInc, Erikwinslow, exaquint (2nd, 5th, 6th, 7th), Ffghtermedic, firefoxpdm, fraze, fushek, Garrick Muttley, gebuzuki (5th printing, March 1983), Greeneuva, Grifter, gryff, hadlee73, Himynameistony, hoops4ever, jdreller, Jubal, katatonius, katzcollection, Khellendros, killagarilla, kinderstef, KJB, kleme, knginatl ("pick-a-path", bar top, "choose your paths"), Kveto, Lambchop, lavmorc, le maudit, LordJR, MacbthPSW, marnaudo, mattender, mcd, mlvoss, momaw27, Morthynmir, Naniyue, nelsondesign, NEMO, Nomad, nordik (Pentegarn), ntar (second & third covers), outspaced, PlanewalkerGroup (Signed: First Printing), plowboy, Pseudo_Intellectual, ryderark (Spanish Timun Mas), Sheridan77, SherlockHolmes, Sockpuppet999, spragmatic, stock, strawberry_brite, ThisIslandEarth, toadhjo, ToucanJams, truce57, twar, utfanatic, Virtua Sinner, Von Scotty, waktool (US 1st; US 2nd; US 5th), xinuz, Yalius, YourSoundtrack, zat
Users Who Want This Item: bonhomme, exaquint (1st), hanbaoge, jeremydouglass, karatelips, lek, Ryuran333, snakefire77, SonicBlaze, Trachalio (Used to own)
Users with Extra Copies: Blame it on Rio
exaquint - 2nd (x2), 5th
ntar - second cover (2)

Known Editions

First printing
Second printing
Fifth printing
Seventh printing

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Endless Quest series from Dragon #95
Thanks to Jim Oaks for the image!