Narrated by: Roger Wayne
Length: 11 hrs and 19 mins
Had to re-listen to this book to write a proper review. I finished it ages ago, and thought I could just write a review from memory… but it deserves more than that.
This is the 2nd book in the story, and it picks up right after the 1st one (NPCs) finished. There is no “let’s recap what happen in the book previously”… it just continues straight away. I would almost recommend just reviewing the last few chapters of Book 1 so that you don’t miss anything.
Anyway we find the Thistle- the Elvin Paladin, Eric – the Rogue, Gabrielle – the Barbarian & Grumph- the half-orc Wizard joined by Timiscore- the Knight and most recent addition of the party; as they are fleeing from the mad king from the 1st book. They have little choices given their experience and safety situation so they decide to go to Bharwillow, a town which is rumoured to have a strange sickness, not only as their only real choice for escape but also to see if they can help.
It turns out the town is indeed plagued, but everything is not as it seems as a priest with no name has plagued the town on purpose which will enlist the town members to help carry out his evil … plan, which is aiming to help his god –Calzadar into regaining power.
For those of you who are unfamiliar with anything that I’m talking about… I’ll explain, as I previously had no idea either.
The Spells Swords and Stealth series takes place in the fantasy universe that many Dungeons & Dragons (Role playing game where scenarios are dictated by the role of a multi-side dice, giving the story and the outcomes in it a degree of choice/ randomness, thus more interesting.
In this particular story though, there are also several Gods that each group of people pray to and watch over them. There are political games being played over the top of this entire story. Grumble – the god of the minions (races that are often enslaved to work for evil rulers) is the god the Paladin Thistle prays to, and is in a game of manoeuvring with the circle of gods, but especially Calzadar (a god of darkness and evil) to influence certain events, and we assume gain power.
Anyway, when the residents of the town disappear, and are found to be used as enslaved labour by this priest with no name, then the party decide to split off with Grumph the wizard and Gabrielle the barbarian journeying to see if the guild of mages can help, and Thistle, Eric & Timiscore staying behind to do research to try and find anything that would help them know what they’re dealing with.
Timiscore the Knight is actually Tim (from the real world) ‘s character fully brought into the Thistle, Grumph, Eric & Gabrielle’s world and now able to live the life that he wants rather than being controlled by another.
This is done by using the artefact that bridges worlds.
Ie. The Real world in which we live in and play Spells, Swords & Stealth like a dice-rolling Role Playing game and who assume the main characters are simply Non-Player Combatants (NPCs).
And then of course the world in which we actually follow the adventures of these main characters.
He has personality attributes the same as Tim from the real world as we can hear whilst we also experience Tim’s new game as he’s had to create new character as his original one (Timiscore) has since been lost from him.
It is a bit difficult to explain, but my advice would just be to listen to the books, as they are great. And the concept is amazing.
The narration and performance continues to be great. Roger Wayne continues to do a great job, and really brings all the characters to life. I like the accents of Deji (Drumph’s teacher) and Fritz – (the mage / saleswoman that Grumph & Gabrielle meet on the road). But even also of the bandit that tries to rob them. All of them have their own unique accent as well as way of speaking.
It really livens the story.
What did I enjoy the most? – More depth of characters
I think this splitting up of characters is a great way for more of them to meet challenges that are unique for them. For which they wouldn’t do if they remained 1 big party and tackled each problem as a group. This way it strengthens each character individually, which THEN makes the group as a whole more powerful and able to take on more daunting challenges.
For example, Grumph and Gabrielle journey to Cadence Hollow to see if the mages (magical people) society can help, while Thistle, Eric & Timiscore remain in Bharwillow.
I think that’s what i enjoyed most. The experience of the characters growing.
-I particularly enjoyed Grumph & Gabrielle’s journey, and the new situations, and environment they found themselves in, as well as the people they met with some attached mystery as well. (I don’t want to give anything away, so it’s difficult to explain)
Grumph learning to become a proper and accepted mage is great.
I loved the new characters, and loved the intrigue that came with them.
I never played these kind of dice-fantasy-role playing games growing up, nor was into all of this kind of fantasy stuff, but now I’m seriously considering getting involved. This book has had a big impact on me, and it actually sounds kind of fun to let yourself go, get absorbed into a fantasy world.
I wish for this book though there was more link to the outside world and we could experience other outside world parties and the adventures they were having.
I will write a Spells Swords & Stealth series review, but I would seriously recommend this book and this series.
It’s a novel concept, and with the amount of intrigue its generating from the development of original characters, the meeting of new characters, the experience of people in the outside world, the political games of the gods, the search for artefacts that acts as a bridge, and the connection… with Fred the Vampire’s world… this book’s possibilities are incredible.
I’m seriously looking forward to anything more this author has in this series.. and hopefully in the future, a cross-over book with Fred the Vampire.
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