Thursday, August 5, 2010

Book Review: Ghosts of Ascalon

Guild Wars 2: Ghosts of Ascalon by Matt Forbeck and Jeff Grubb was sadly not provided to me for review by anyone. But that's okay! Even if you've never played Guild Wars, or never plan to, go buy this novel.

Ghosts of Ascalon, the very first novel set in the Guild Wars multi-player game universe, takes place more than 200 years after the original Guild Wars storyline, and shortly before the storyline of the much anticipated forthcoming Guild Wars 2 MMORPG.

Dougal Keane lives a threadbare existence selling his services as a guide and trap springer. After a brutal treasure hunt, an old friend springs him from jail demanding his services as a guide back to the one place he never wants to return: Ascalon City. The site of the infamous last battle between King Adelbern and the invading race known as charr. Keane was the only survivor of his last trip there. His mission this time will be to retrieve a sacred charr relic in an effort to foster a truce between the humans of Kryta and the charr.

If you're not familiar with the Guild wars story, this novel is still a fun adventure and easy to follow. If you are familiar with the Guild Wars games though, Ghosts of Ascalon is an exciting romp through some familiar territory and some new places from the upcoming game. We meet new characters of all the major races, and old friends are mentioned anecdotally. We learn the history of the world of Kryta since we last visited it: the rise of the elder dragons and their devastation of the world, the queen of Kryta and her relationship with the rest of the world, the birth of the sylvari race and some of their traits, and the struggling relationship between the major races: human, norn, sylvari, charr, and asura.

Ghosts of Ascalon is the first of at least two Guild Wars 2 novels, the next due out in December. A previously announced third is under discussion, and a recent interview says if the novels do well, there could be more. Hence my plea to you to go buy this novel now, and any future Guild Wars novels!

Sometimes publishers or authors will send me their books free so I can review them. I bought Ghosts of Ascalon with my own cashy money. But if Simon and Schuster wants to send me future Guild Wars novels for review, I'd be more than happy to read them!

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