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The Citadel of Chaos (Fighting Fantasy Gamebook 2) Paperback – 3 Jun 2002

4.4 out of 5 stars 13 customer reviews

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Product details

  • Paperback: 192 pages
  • Publisher: Wizard Books; New edition edition (3 Jun. 2002)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1840463899
  • ISBN-13: 978-1840463897
  • Product Dimensions: 11 x 17.8 x 1.3 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (13 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 450,296 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Product Description


"A fantastic time guaranteed for all with authors Ian Livingstone and Steve Jackson." -- Venue

"Bound to appeal to fans of the fantasy worlds of Harry Potter and Lord of the Rings." -- PTA magazine

"Relaunched and as gripping as ever, fans of role-playing adventures will lap [these books] up." -- Funday Times

"[Steve Jackson and Ian Livingstone are] the Lennon and McCartney of the adventure book world." -- Big Issue


‘Absoltuely ideal as a gift for the nines-plus, these are books the keen reader/adventurer will enjoy.’ (Caroline Franklin, n2 Going Out the Arts)

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Customer Reviews

4.4 out of 5 stars
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Top Customer Reviews

Format: Paperback
Following the phenomenal success of the first Fighting Fantasy gamebook The Warlock of Firetop Mountain a sequel was inevitable, with this time Steve Jackson producing The Citadel of Chaos alone. Story-wise this is a disappointingly unimaginative retread of The Warlock of Firetop Mountain - once again as the hero you have to venture into the lair of a mighty sorcerer, besting monsters and traps and collecting artefacts along the way. However, looking back at the gamebooks produced, while Ian Livingstone always seemed content to churn out a small industry of vivid but standard Fighting Fantasy adventures Steve Jackson was always trying out new innovations to the format. As such, while the story is familiar here, Jackson adds some new ideas to the mix, the most important being the inclusion of a magic system, which works surprisingly well.
In The Warlock of Firetop Mountain it was quite common to win your way through to the end of the book, only to be stumped by not having found the correct keys for the Warlocks treasure chest, but The Citadel of Chaos is a much less forgiving book, with plenty of sudden death moments: if you don't find a certain item on your travels you'll never get past Balthus Dire's wife; and if you don't defeat her you'll never get the right artefact to destroy the Hydra - worst of all are the dreaded Ganjee's, which must have been responsible for defeating me on a dozen occasions. Even once you get past this lot you'll still be stumped unless you have also discovered both the combination lock for Balthus Dire's door and the method to defeat him.
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Format: Paperback
The Citadel Of Chaos...
It conjures up distant memories of a wasted childhood rolling dice in an attempt to reach the elusive paragraph 400.
The Citadel is for me the better of the three lauch books. The Warlock Of Firetop Mountain for those who don't know was co written by Ian Livingstone and Steve Jackson. Each writing the book for one side of the river deep within the mountain. Sadly it showed and I always fely WOFTM was disjointed.
This on the other hand is Steve Jackson through and through and probably his best single book work. The multiple routes through the book give a real sense of exploration and adventure. Balthus Dire is your enemy but reaching him is another matter entirely. All manner of creatures inhabit the Citadel and as with all the FF books there is one golden path to follow.
My main gripe with this book is that it really is too easy. I completed it at the second attempt.
I don't want to put people off however and if you are considering buying a FF adventure book then Citadel Of Chaos is not a bad buy. It never approaches the richness of Deathtrap Dungeon but is streets ahead of Warlock.
A little on the repackaging. Its nice but I doubt that it equates to a five pound price tag. Wizard books would do well to remember that the originals are ever popular and are changing hands for just 2 pounds each. Putting dice at the bottom of the page and updating the cover is little justification for 3 extra pounds. Excluding these minor changes the books are identical to their early 80's form.
Very lazy boys...
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Format: Paperback
The Citadel of Chaos is the second book in the successful Fighting Fantasy gamebook series, written by Steve Jackson and Ian Livingstone.
In this medieval-style gamebook, you play the part of a wizard/warrior hero, sent to prevent an invasion, by slaying a Dark Sorcerer Warlord called 'Balthus Dire'.
In the adventure, you have to journey to Dire's citadel, explore the maze-like fortress, overcoming traps, hostile fantasy creatures and collecting certain artifacts; which you must find to complete you quest. If you manage to avoid being imprisoned or killed, you can face Balthus Dire in a fight to the death (using your weapon or/and magic).
This FF book is great. Without doubt, is an absolute FF classic. The second book in the series (the first one written by Steve on his own), Citadel of Chaos has all the fresh, enthusiasm of a first work. The traps, monsters and situations are original and exciting.
A must for all FF readers. The ending is especially satisfying, if you get that far...
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Format: Paperback
The original release of this book was notorious for possessing a terribly drawn cover (re-releases have involved several attempts to amend this), but never is the adage not to judge a book by its cover more apt. Any issues or flaws that emerged in 'Warlock of Firetop Mountain' are improved upon or corrected in this second release of the original series.

Paragraphs are better written and more detailed and there is much more consideration and characterisation given to minor characters. Your quest feels like you have a greater purpose. Whereas in 'Warlock of Firetop Mountain' you were treasure seeking in a sorcerer's lair, n this adventure you must infiltrate a socerer's fortress to slap him before he unleashes armies of chaos upon the world. Because of this Balthus Dire becomes a lot more of a threatening figure than Zagor.

The characterisation of Balthus Dire is one of the highlights of the book. He is larger than life; a physically impressive sorcerer full of ambition and pride, possessing the stature of a warrior rather than an old wizard. The reader's final confrontation with him is lengthy and multilayered. It is a duel of words, weapons, magic and intellect. It remains one of the finest confrontations in the gamebook genre. It is much more interesting to have some dialogue with the main villain rather than just fighting him.

The author provides an incredibly varied army of creatures/opponents for the reader to face. Many are your basic fantasy creatures but there are some creations of great imagination, from the amusing wheelies to the eerie and disturbing gangees.

The most innovative addition to the FF series provided by 'Citadel of Chaos' is the introduction of the use of magic. The system for using magic is relatively simple but very effective.
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