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Raid on Nightmare Castle

Series: Endless Quest #14
Contained In: The Endless Quest Collectors Set #4 (Collection)
Translated Into: El castillo de las pesadillas (Spanish)
Das Schloß des Wahnsinns (German)
Author: McGuire, Catherine
Illustrators: Easley, Jeff (cover)
Holloway, James (Jim) (interior)
Release Date: November, 1983
ISBN: 0880381019 / 9780880381017
Length:157 pages
Number of Endings:20
User Summary: You are Kyol, a human orphan raised by Elves. When a great Elven leader is captured, you have an opportunity to prove your worth.
Demian's Thoughts: Like some of the previous books, this includes whiny talking animals.... Apart from that annoying detail, it's not a bad read.

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Guillermo's Thoughts: This coming-of-age tale is children's fiction, but still quite readable for adults. The premise is in some ways similar to Revenge of the Rainbow Dragons (young magic-user as a protagonist, talking animal sidekicks, etc.), but unlike that book (which was a total bore) this one is action-packed and makes for a fun read. The writing is lively and entertaining, and there is a lot of variety between the different paths, making replayability quite high. All in all, this is a good Endless Quest book - or at the very least, it's not among the suckiest ones.

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Kveto's Thoughts: This was one of the first Endless Quest books I had as a kid. It's probably the coolest title in the series. However, looking at the cover, you see that the "raid" consists of a young boy, a hawk and a dog.

But this is a good entry. You are Kyol, a young human orphan adopted by an elf family. The book does a good job of portraying the sense of alienation and inferiority of growing up in among a different race. To my mind, that's exactly how a human would feel amongst D&D elves. They are great at everything: extra long lives, magic powers, special vision, blonde and good-looking, the list goes on. They are the X-men of the D&D world (lots of cool powers but they still somehow come off as whiny and victimized).

The story is fairly standard: rescue an elf diplomat from the warlord who kidnapped him. There are essentially two paths, one on your own and one where you bring friends. The latter is more interesting. It has the plot device of the father of your friend, the elven wizard, getting injured, so you have to make the decisions.

The artwork is excellent. There is a particularly scary part where you have to save an elf princess from getting eaten by trolls, and the trolls look particularly nasty.

The only problem is that so many of the endings are the same. Basically the author rewrote the same ending 5 or 6 times depending on different paths. You can almost feel her getting bored as she writes the same ones again and again. Not only does this feel like a waste of space, but why always have the same endings? Either have divergent choices funnel to the same ending or better yet, have some variations. You didn't always have to find the elf ambassador in the exact same situation.

But the book is really quite good, with a positive message.

More reviews by Kveto

Nomad's Thoughts: Ah, Endless Quest. This is a series that I have counted amongst my favorite in terms of gamebooks (yeah, that'd place them somewhere in my top five favorite gamebook series list). With that said, Raid on Nightmare Castle was a good, bordering on great, entry into the series. The book has its flaws, such as the aforementioned whiny animal companions, some rather abrupt and unsatisfying endings, and a lack of any refreshingly new elements, but these are all overlookable as the story itself makes for an interesting, albeit somewhat redundant, adventure. Even though it's not groundbreaking, I still highly enjoy the concept of a human raised in an environment where he's grown to think of himself as inferior compared to those around him. Kyol's having to learn to accept his all-too-human limitations, as well as discovering his own strengths, when surrounded by an Elven culture.

This book kept me interested enough that I've found that of all the Endless Quest books I own, I've found myself going back and re-reading this one most frequently. Call me a sucker for rooting for the underdog but this book's always managed to keep me entertained.

More reviews by Nomad

Users Who Own This Item: AlHazred, Ardennes, auximenes, B0N0V0X, bigcobra, bonhomme, bookwormjeff, Crazyscotsman, CSquared, Cyan, damieng, dArtagnan, dave2002a, Demian, Dtar, duckhugger, EegahInc, exaquint, Ffghtermedic, firefoxpdm, Garrick Muttley, Greeneuva, Gurvo, hoops4ever, horrorbusiness, Hugues, karalynn, katzcollection, keving, Khellendros, killagarilla, killagirilla, kinderstef, knginatl, Kveto, Lambchop, le maudit, LordJR, LReyomeXX (Very nicely put together. Some of the story choices make you feel like you are really there, sometimes as lost as your character.), mattender, mlvoss, momaw27, NEMO, Nomad, novelist1982, ntar (paperback & hardbound ex-library), outspaced, plowboy, Pseudo_Intellectual, redpiper05, RonaldFrobnitz, skeleton, spragmatic, stock, ThaRid, ThisIslandEarth, truce57, twar, Virtua Sinner, Von Scotty, Yalius, zat
Users Who Want This Item: anagramsci, fushek, hanbaoge, MacbthPSW, nelsondesign, Ryuran333, snakefire77, SonicBlaze, utfanatic
Users with Extra Copies: dave2002a
exaquint
Fireguard
killagarilla
kinderstef
Lambchop - Very tight binding. Old library copy, (not hardback) so stamped on ends. Price tag on cover.
Nomad
ntar - three extra copies
redpiper05
twar - 1 copy in great shape.

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