Finally going back to this awesome series which I’d found and read right before we started the blog. In fact it was one of the reasons I wanted to start it because I kept telling you about it and you just sort of went “meh.”
Title: Slathbog’s Gold
Series: Adventurers Wanted; Book 1
Author: M. L. Forman
ROTS Setting: EU/AU, Medieval, Higher Magic, Dragons
Synopsis: Upon entering Mr. Clutter’s shop, Alex is swept away on an incredible adventure to a faraway land filled with heroic warriors, mysterious elves, and hard-working dwarves. Alex becomes the eigth man in a band of adventurers seeking the lair of Slathbog the Red – and evil dragon with a legendary treasure. Along the way, Alex and his new friends must battle dangerous trolls and bandits, face undead wraiths, and seek the wisdom of the Oracle in her White Tower. Alex’s adventure takes him to distant and exotic lands where he learns about courage, integrity, honor, and, most importantly, friendship.
Recommendation: Highly recommend this series. Great for younger and older readers alike.
There is something I really love about this book and series. There’s a tabletop role-playing feel to it that’s difficult to describe and the almost light hearted atmosphere is addictive. The action is nice too, if a little too convenient and not very perilous feeling. For me this would be a solid introduction to most of the fantasy elements that I love.
Are there issues, yes but in spite of those I love the series anyway.
The main character is Alex, a teenager who grew up in the real world. He’s always felt like a bit of an outcast so when he’s sudden given the opportunity to explore an entirely new world filled with elves, dwarfs and magic, he jumps at it……if also still being skeptical, especially of magic. He’s a decent character and following his progress is half the fun. I do find him a bit annoying in that he’s almost doesn’t need to try when thing happen but that is partially do to the character but also due to the hazy passage of time. A lot of time passes, well over a year, in this fairly short book and perception of that time passing is probably the weakest part of the whole book. Alex is extremely inexperienced but is given quite a bit of time to gain that experience so it should be no surprise when he’s actually competent. But it was surprising. Quite so.
The plot is fairly simple, but given that this is the first book that was kind of nice. It kept things linear with a clear direction of how things are likely to play out. (Later books gain a bit more complexity, which is nice.)
The world is also a little bland for me. There are pockets of detail and depth but as a whole it feels empty with little or no history to it. This is probably partially do to the nature of the book. There’s a lot of traveling and not much time in towns or cities so their isn’t much politics which would be where you’d get your world history from.
In summary, it feels like a tabletop RPG session with a group of friends. Simplified, probably, but the sense of camaraderie and adventure are very strong. I highly recommend this series.