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Item - The Forest of the King

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Series: Escape from the Kingdom of Frome — no. 2
Translated Into: El bosque del rey (Spanish)
Author: Brightfield, Richard
Illustrators: Huerta, Catherine (cover)
Perry, David (interior)
Date: 1987
ISBN: 055326155X / 9780553261554
Length: 131 pages
Number of Endings: 1
User Summary: Having escaped from the King's castle, you find yourself exploring the kingdom of Frome. The entire realm is surrounded by a venomous bush, so you'll have to find a secret path to cross its borders. Can you find the three secret spells which will lead you to freedom?
Guillermo's Thoughts:

(review based on the Spanish translation)

This book is a major step forward from the previous one. It details the countryside of Frome, and does a much better job at developing the kingdom as a memorable setting. There are many interesting fantasy creatures, a huge gameworld to explore, and a clear set of goals to follow. Nonplayer characters are given more detail and depth, and the writing is lively and entertaining. The kingdom of Frome is presented as an unusually complex setting, where the people are presented as suffering a tyrant's oppression, but there are many good, neutral and evil characters which add flavour to the story.

The book does a good job linking its story to the previous volume (in it you encounter several prominent characters from the first book). By introducing the reader to a rebel group and presenting the suffering of the Frome people, it also sets the stage for an overarching story arc which will be resolved in the final book of the series.

Gameplay is quite interesting and challenging, as there is a lot of exploration work to do. One of the required spells I found to be especially tricky to find, and this book may take longer than expected to solve, even for experienced gamebook readers. The main difficulty of the book resides in the many twists and turns that the player must solve before finding each spell.

In my opinion, this is the best book of the series and one of the most important reasons for exploring Frome.

More reviews by Guillermo

Special Thanks:Thanks to Guillermo Paredes for the plot summary.
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