Friday, December 30, 2011

Bard's Tale 2--The Chaos Gate (Sherman, Josepha)

Rating: 4/5
Year: 1994
Genre: Fantasy
Read again? Maybe

It's been four years since the end of Castle of Deception. The boy-hero of that book, Kevin, is a Count and a full Bard, now. Has his own castle and everything.

But he's bored. There's no adventure in the day-to-day affairs of running a castle and tending to the needs of his people and the Kingdom.

Then his friend the Dark Elf Naitachal--now a full Bard himself--comes to visit. When an envoy from a neighboring Count brings a portrait of his daughter and a marriage offer, Kevin makes a snap decision to sneak out to see her for himself, disguised as a lowly minstrel. Naitachal tags along in hopes of amusement.

Of course things don't go well; Kevin's would-be lady-love is sharp-tongued and argumentative and clearly uninterested in marriage. When he reveals his true identity, all hell breaks loose!

Naitachal is very amused.

Meanwhile, at the enclave of evil Dark Elves, the Boss Elf is stewing and scheming, evilly wanting revenge against Naitachal for turning away from the Dark Side. His evil consort hatches a spell designed to ensnare Naitachal....

A bit too melodramatic and long-winded. Pacing could have been tightened up quite a bit. Characterization could have been better; the Dark Elves are oh-so evil and two-dimensionally bland.

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