A fantastic finale to a stunning saga,
This review is from: Sorcery! 4: The Crown of Kings (Fighting Fantasy Gamebook 15) (Paperback)
Undoubtedly one of the greatest adventure gamebooks of all time, `The Crown of Kings' is the final volume in Steve Jackson's acclaimed Sorcery series. Adventurers who have journeyed through the previous books will find this a very satisfying finale to this epic saga.
At 800 paragraphs/references `The Crown of Kings' is an epic in its own right. This gives it twice as many paragraphs than the norm established by Fighting Fantasy (although there are quite a few of the 800 references that are little more than random spell results). As far as I'm aware this is quite possibly the largest adventure gamebook published.
The objective is to reach Mampang in the Xamen mountains, infiltrate the fortress and find the eponymous Crown of Kings. This is the fulfilment of the quest that begun with the start of the series but it is far from close to being completed. In many ways `The Crown of Kings' feels like an extensively re-worked `Citadel of Chaos' (by the same author in the main FF series). But just as the magic system is far more developed and improved thus are many other elements advanced.
As you might expect from the author that gave us `House of Hell' and `Creature of Havoc' (two of the trickiest adventures in the FF range and indeed any gamebook range), `The Crown of Kings' is a very difficult book to complete. Despite what the instructions may claim, I can't see that this is possible to complete as a warrior. Besides, if you don't choose to be a wizard you will also miss out on one of the best magic systems in adventure gamebooks and half the enjoyment of finishing this. Also, although it is indeed possible to complete it without reading the first three books this would make it considerably more difficult and less enjoyable. The series is supposed to be read as a whole to get the most out of it. Successfully completing `The Seven Serpents' and eliminating all the serpents will give you a definite advantage.
There aren't a huge amount of opponents with high statistics but there are a lot of foes that you can't just overcome with your sword. Even if you didn't use magic much in the previous adventures you will find you need to in this, especially towards the conclusion. Numerous references are also hidden and a lot of information that can be gained from this book and the previous ones is often required to access them.
This is a great conclusion to this spin-off series. The low statistics of the final foe to be faced is probably the only major criticism that can be levelled against this masterpiece. This is one of the founders of Fighting Fantasy at his best. This explains why this series is currently being developed as Iphone/Android apps. If you're a fan of Fighting Fantasy but you haven't tried `Sorcery' - what are you waiting for?