Small Reviews (2): Birthright

One of my first introductions to the british library (english literature) was the BirthRight books. If you remember it was a game from 1996. It was one of my own first books. I remember buying it and playing day after day. It was a good book with several factions to choose from. I think it was something very good. Even today I can play that game if I want. In the end I thought the game pretty easy.

It had the campaing setting were you would attack your neighbours, build things and so on. The second was a role playing game where you and plus three characters had to find a thing to complete the quest. That part was pretty boring. But there was a spell in one of the factions that teleport me and I got the thing without worrying with the inhabitents of the game.

Another thing that I loved or amazed me was a character called Rhuobhe Manslayer. It was for me one of the most interesting characters I've ver had the pleasure of finding. This game had several Bloodline. The interesting components called stronger the bloodline the stronger the character. There were some interesting evil doers. They were called Awnshegh. One of the books, The Spider's Test, and by far the best had one as the main antogonist called The Spider. This novel is about the ambition and destiny that drive one man to confront the insane lord of the Spiderfell. Richard Endier has no choice. For the sake of his people, he must meet the Spider on the creature's own ground in a battle of wit and deception. The future of a new kingdom hangs in the balance. It was a fast book and an interesting one. From almost all books I've read this is one that I will treasure and read in a couple of years. Maybe when I start playing the game again. 9.5/10

The second novel was called GreatHeart. In the lands of Sielwode, the elves face a fierce confrontation not only with the encroaching humans, who are threatening their sacred groves, but also with the undead and the other monsters of the Shadow World. I remember enjoying this book but not as much as the previous one. It was another view of the elves of this realm. Totally different from the elves from Tolkien, Dragonlance or Forgotten Realms (Warhammer's elves would only arrive a couple of years afterwards... for me of course). One thing that the three novels have is a good writter. Writers that know of the world and know how it works. All the elements for a rousing good adventure tale are present - a young hero in the making bent on proving his merit as a warrior, and a twisted arch-villain intent on securing his place as ruler. The book follows the life of Cald Dewhef, a human orphaned when his family's caravan is assaulted by a raiding band of gnolls. Cald is taken in by a noble elf prince, despite the stern disapproval of virtually the entire elven nation, who are all incredibly xenophobic. The elves inhabiting this particular forest actually have a "shoot first" policy, as they have been ordered to kill anything entering their territory that isn't an elf. Racial prejudice seems to play a big part in this book, as nearly every race is immediately distrustful, or outright hateful, towards everyone else. The humans distrust the elves, the elves hate everyone, the gnolls just want to pillage and kill, etc. The story then continues beautifully and my only problem was the timeline. It jumped a lot from the beginning to the end and it was a bit confusing. A good book nevertheless. 8/10

The last book I read was The Iron Throne. From birth, Michael Roele has been destined to rule the Anuirean Empire. Forces within his domain, however, conspire to challenge his right and claim his power for their own. This was the last one I read but the first ever written. In the war torn empire all try to achieve the title of emperor upon the death of the current, aging emperor. The one direct descendent is missing and another takes over the role as emperor. Once the descendent is found alive, another round of the civil war begins. The result has a lasting effect on the empire. The background of the nation is overly detailed which in my opinion was very important since I never had played the original game. Only the computer. Once the civil war begins, the book accelerates at a rapid pace. After the civil war, a former human named Raesene but now transformed monster named the Gorgon, has his own plans for the empire. Once the Gorgon starts employing members of the empire to achieve his desires, another war soon ensues. The Gorgon also causes some internal strife among major players within the empire. Our main viewpoint character is Aedan Dosiere, the playmate of Michael Roele, who is to grow up to be his high chamberlain. We see how the Archduke Boeruine treacherously betrays him, leading to an 8-year civil war, and how Michael's sister, Laera, turns to darkness in a manner that will lead to the destruction of the empire at the hands of its greatest threat, the Gorgon.
The ending, while a bit surprising, is presented well and does leave the door open for a sequel. 8/10.

The sequel was called War but unfortunally I never got hold of it. Nor the other called The Hag's Contract.
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