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Claw of the Dragon

Series: Endless Quest #34
Endless Quest Reissues #1
Translated Into: La garra del dragón (Spanish)
Noktite na Drakona [Ноктите на Дракона] (Bulgarian)
Author: Algozin, Bruce
Illustrators: Caldwell, Clyde (cover)
Fabian, Stephen (Steve) (interior)
Release Dates: September, 1986 (original)
January, 2008 (reissue)
ISBNs: 0786947195 / 9780786947195 (reissue)
0880383062 / 9780880383066 (original)
Length:159 pages
Number of Endings:12
User Summary: You are Toby, the son of a settler. Your frontier village has lately been under frequent attack by dragons, and while out collecting scales, you begin to learn why....
Demian's Thoughts: I really didn't expect to like this book, since Bruce Algozin's earlier works almost completely failed to impress me. To my pleasant surprise, though, I found it thoroughly enjoyable -- the story is engaging and its characters are believably motivated; I found myself genuinely interested in reaching a favorable outcome. I have only three relatively minor complaints: the game doesn't accurately represent the D&D world (black dragons, for example, should not breathe fire), the plot relies a bit too heavily on coincidences, and the challenge level is rather low (most choices are pretty obvious). On an unrelated note, I wonder if presence of a dwarf named Elric is a coincidence, a joke, or something else entirely... Hmm. Anyway, if none of these factors put you off, it's definitely worth reading this book -- it's well above average.

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Kveto's Thoughts: In this book you play Toby, who is a scavenger of dragon scales along with your brother. Your town, a settlement, is under attack from dragons. Although the cool scene on the cover, villagers aiming a catapult at a dragon, never occurs, the scenario of the book is solid. A bit of a throwback, in that you play a child, rather than the competent adult that has been the recent norm in the series.

You come across a dragon on dragon fight and are shocked to learn that dragons talk. You are given a mission by a dying gold dragon which may result in peace between dragons and humans. A good solid, if unmemorable, story.

As mentioned, the cover is awesome but the interior artwork is shoddy. Especially the depiction of wererats, which resemble giant rats with enormous human ears.

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nev's Thoughts: Ah Endless Quest - attractive because they were published by TSR, the creators of D&D. Loved these when I was young. Quite different to Fighting Fantasy. Generally more story than FF but not as many choices.

So I was in the library and saw this, Endless Quest #1. After a bit of a search, I found it's a re-issue of #34 of the old series - never read it. It's fairly average, the story is ok but not great. The choices are fairly limited - in most cases, one option will result in an End and the other will continue the story. There were really only a few places where there were semi-diverging paths. One thing it has going for it is that the choices actually make sense. I.e. the consequences of your choices make sense and you can make the 'right' choice with some thought. This is in contrast to most CYOA/FF gamebooks where the choices/consequences are often completely random.

An okay read but not really recommend-worthy.

Of interest, Demian's review mentions Elric. In the re-issue, the dwarf's name is Oskar. The protagonist's name has also been changed to Tory so you can be female or male.

More reviews by nev

Users Who Own This Item: Ardennes, Crazyscotsman, Demian, horrorbusiness, Jubal, katzcollection (original), Khellendros (original), kinderstef, knginatl (orig. & reissue), Nomad, Pseudo_Intellectual, spragmatic, steelprimate, twar, Yalius
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