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Knight of Illusion

Series: Endless Quest #33
Translated Into: Caballero de ilusión (Spanish)
Author: Kirchoff, Mary L.
Illustrators: Caldwell, Clyde (cover)
Grainger, Sam (interior)
Holloway, James (Jim) (interior)
Release Date: June, 1986
ISBN: 0880382848 / 9780880382847
Length:159 pages
Number of Endings:10
User Summary: As a young cavalier, you must face the conspiracy behind a series of orc raids in your kingdom.
Demian's Thoughts: This book is interesting in that it somehow manages to combine this series' use of young and inexperienced characters with a fairly accurate portrayal of the Dungeons & Dragons world. For the most part, the story's events fit in with the D&D rules, and this makes it a more-satisfying-than-usual read for fans of the game. Unfortunately, though, the writing is a little sloppy in several ways. It's irritatingly preachy at times, and a few plot points are repeated unnecessarily (and at least one minor one is missed) when the reader follows certain paths. The book also frequently breaks the reader's immersion in the story by referring to the player character's father by his first name. In a third-person book, this wouldn't be a problem, but in a second-person one, it's confusing; most people don't think of their parents by name. It also bothered me that on page 112, the reader is told to turn back to a previous page and make another choice; there's room to reprint the choices right there on 112, so why waste the reader's time with extra page-flipping? Oh, and while I'm complaining, I should point out that the title seems more than a little bit forced... and the orcs speak pig latin! PIG LATIN! Aaah! In any case, though, despite my complaints, I found this to be a fairly worthwhile read. It may be annoying at times, but at least it's not as boring or tedious as some earlier entries. If you ever need something to do, you can even use it to play a game of "spot the gratuitous Alice in Wonderland references." Also noteworthy is the fact that quite a few fans of the Pool of Radiance computer game and novel were probably confused by this book's cover art, which happens to be the same painting used by those better-known products. I've always been a bit annoyed by TSR's recycling of artwork, and this is one of the most blatant examples. Interestingly, though, and contrary to my initial assumptions, this gamebook predates the Pool of Radiance products; it appears that the famous image had relatively humble beginnings.

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Kveto's Thoughts: In this one, you play a young Cavalier named Rolf, who tries to rescue his father from orcs plaguing his kingdom. Not a whole lot to say about this one as I found it pretty unmemorable. Lots of the traps involve illusions so the standard rules of D&D don't appear to apply. (You kill an Umber Hulk with a few blows). There are a lot of Alice in Wonderland references including one funny scene where you find a key labeled "eat me". If you do, you find yourself transformed into the key itself needed to unlock the door (it's only temporary).

While it is okay, it's not a highlight of the series.

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Errata:The page numbers in the choice on page 96 are reversed; the first option should lead to page 158, and the second option should lead to page 150.
Special Thanks:Thanks to Dennis Durrant for pointing out that this book was printed before the Pool of Radiance products that recycle its cover art.
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