Folks, I’ve had a rough day but I promised the author I would post my review tonight so here it is!
On my own personal rating scale, I definitely give this novel a rating of Full Plate Mail Armor (four out of five stars).
The Library of Antiquity is the second book of the Valdaar’s Fist series. It is a fast paced continuation of a compelling narrative. Warning, there are spoilers ahead!
The story starts with a look at what the companions have been up to since their last endeavor. The party members eventually meet up, adding an elusive ranger, Breunne, and missing their favorite rogue, Savin. Breunne reveals not only did Savin send him with a message for the party, but Savin is in a death match to become the head of his guild. However, there is no time to rush to Savin’s rescue. Between the high bounty on the party’s heads after the destruction of two Temples of Set and the distance separating Savin from the party, the group can only pray Savin survives . Ultimately, the party is reunited with Savin, the new guild leader and the quest to the Library of Antiquity truly begins. The journey to reach the library occurs through magical doors, mazes, monsters, Drow, and eventually an encounter with a green dragon which drew a few tears from my eyes. Finally, more pieces to the location of the legendary weapon, and to the hidden depths of the character’s pasts, are revealed just before the party must part again.
This book is much more action packed than the first. The author stays strong to his flawless dialogue and his ability to drag the reader into the characters’ quest is impressive.
The overarching theme delving into the blurred lines of good verses evil is subtle, yet intense. I wanted to weep for the green dragon and her life of imprisonment. As a reader, I still find myself cheering the return of the old god, even if it may lead to war.
The author has a way of marching within the lines of a true Dungeons and Dragons world, while still sharing his own unique musical symphony. As a female reader and avid gamer, I rolled my eyes when the only female of the group is the healer. However, the character is anything but the standard fragile class stereotype. This novel shows her strength and power equal to any of her male counterparts.
The touch of romance is sweet, and done with a light touch. As my teenage daughter would say, “I ship it.” I can’t wait to see where the romance ends up, even if I don’t think it will be my “One True Pairing”.
The only fault I find is that the reader is expected to know much in the way of standard tabletop role-playing terms, and thus makes assumptions which could alienate new readers not familiar with the core foundation of the series (perhaps an appendix could cure the issue).
On that same note, I would’ve liked to see more detail of the creatures encountered to give the readers not familiar with Dungeons and Dragons a better mental image of the monsters.
Ultimately, the novel is a wonderful read which carries the reader along to smile, laugh, and cry with the adventurers. It’s an experience you don’t want to miss.