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Paperback The Goblin Tower Book

ISBN: 0511019270

ISBN13: 9780511019272

The Goblin Tower

(Part of the Novarian (#1) Series and The Reluctant King (#1) Series)

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Format: Paperback

Condition: Good


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Customer Reviews

2 ratings

A classic heroic fantasy to enjoy

I recently decided to go back into some of the classic fantasy books I have to relax a little and enjoy something I haven't in a long time. The Goblin Tower is the first in the trilogy of The Reluctant King. In The Goblin Tower, Mr. de Camp establishes his hero for the series, Jorian, king of Xylar (btw, Xylar executes their king every five years. The former kings head is tossed to those interested and if they catch it, they're king). After making his escape from the Xylar execution block with the help of Doctor Karadur (a doctor of magic), Jorian journey's with the good doctor to retrieve the Kist of Avlen from the court of Mulvan for the Forces of Progressive Magic. My Likes: Mr. de Camp delivers an excellent high fantasy with a character that's likeable. Jorian is everything you want in a hero; big, strong, handsome (we know this because women have a thing for him), intelligent (we know this because while he's young, he's highly experienced), and able to lead. Supporting him Dr. Karadur has an exoticness to him that says I am a magician. Not as sophisticated as Gandalf, rather something of the absent minded professor. In addition to these characters, Mr. de Camp delivers supporting characters that are fleshed out with excellent descriptions that almost makes you believe you meeting them. My next great love is the weaving of the story. Mr. de Camp does an excellent job of putting a story together and sucking you into it. Each chapter is a miniature adventure that builds to the overall story, getting the Kist of Avlen and taking it to the Goblin Tower. Added to the overall story, Mr. de Camp sometimes has Jorian tell tales to the characters like a real person would. As a real person would, Jorian's stories have something to do with Jorian's adventure and are always entertaining. My final love is the lands and the people Mr. de Camp tells us about. While this is a fantasy story, Mr. de Camp uses our earth's cultures. We're introduced to three primary cultures, Novarian, Mulvan, and Shven. Novaria is made up of a series of city states that aligns to either ancient Greece or medieval Europe as perceived by the Mongols or Persians. Each city state has it's own personality (politics) and alliances. This is sometimes a little complex to follow. The Mulvans is Mr. de Camp's version of India and he does a good job capturing the flavor and personality I've read about this culture from historical sources. Once more, this is a complex culture where politics is rampent. The final is the Shven, they're a Mongol like people who we're only briefly introduced to. My Dislikes: While I loved Jorian, he's a little hard to believe; kind of like James Bond. Jorian does everything so much better than the average man that he's a little unbelievable. As King of Xylar he puts down pirates, destroys bandits, lowers taxes, improves services, and still finds time to learn how to possibly escape in his last year. A little much... The Rating: Ra

Book one of the masterful The Reluctant King trilogy

L. Sprague de Camp is a master storyteller, and I quickly found myself immersed in this vivid account of Jorian's adventures. As the tale begins, Jorian is at the end of his reign as the king of Xylar. Each king of that realm serves only five years; then he is beheaded and his head tossed into the crowd. Whoever catches the head, as a wandering Jorian had accidentally done five years earlier, becomes the new king. For obvious reasons, Jorian had developed quite an attachment to his head and wanted to keep it. With the help of the old wizard Karadur, split-second timing, and good old-fashioned luck, Jorian escapes his fate. He then embarks on a quest to seize the Kist of Avlen as recompense for Karamur's aid (and to win his freedom from the geas placed upon him as part of the escape bargain). Karamur serves a faction of the region's magical conclave dedicated to dispensing knowledge and use of magic to everyone, and the secrets held in the Kist are deemed crucial to the achievement of this goal. Jorian's travels and adventures are thrilling, both with and without Karadur at his side. He encounters terrible luck, betrayal, and great danger everywhere he goes, but he manages to press on with his tasks somehow. Wanting no more than to settle down with the chosen wife he left behind in Xylar and work as a common craftsman, he is cut out to be either an adventurer or a king. His greatest skill is actually his storytelling ability, and many of his escapes come about as a direct result of his storytelling prowess. Many of the stories he tells are even more engaging than the story of his current adventures, I must say. Jorian's world is a fascinating place, filled with untrustworthy magicians, numerous gods of all kinds, dangerous ape-men, lustful, dangerous women, and all manner of dangers. The forms of government of the realms he passes through are fascinating-one land all but forbids contact between men and women, one is ruled by a power-hungry theocracy; one relies on highly complicated yet ultra-important protocols for interacting with men of all kinds of rank. The arguments he hears as to why one government is better than others are often comical yet have unmistakable relevance to worldly matters here on planet Earth. The Goblin Tower is the first of three books, collectively known as The Reluctant King trilogy, detailing the travels and experiences of Jorian and Karadur. These are fascinating characters experiencing fascinating things. One can only shake one's head in wonder sometimes at our reluctant heroes' ability to escape one mess only to fall into another one forthwith, but these adventures are thrilling enough to keep the reader fully immersed in this fantasy world of de Camp's creation. L. Sprague de Camp is a legendary fantasy writer, and The Goblin Tower affords the reader a wonderful opportunity to introduce himself to the works of this master craftsman of the genre.
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