The Last Garrison by Matthew Beard

The Last Garrison: A Dungeons & Dragons NovelThe Last Garrison: A Dungeons & Dragons Novel by Matthew Beard

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

I had a lot of fun reading The Last Garrison. It is a great introduction to Dungeons and Dragons novels and requires no previous knowledge of the game or setting.

The descriptions and imagery were very good, I had no problem visualizing the scenes in perfect detail. Some scenes were so well done that I could actually see and feel the action. A few of the characters really stood out, particularly Nergei, Luzhon, and Sten. I felt a sense of attachment to these characters, Nergei and Luzhon especially, as theirs was a sort of coming of age story. But of all the characters, the one I liked the most was the “villian’ of the story, Temley. He had the most interesting backstory and I found myself impatiently turning pages in order to read more about him. Veteran DnD players will also be pleased to see a reference to the basic set module “Keep on the Borderlands.”

The only negative thing I have to say about the book is that there were almost too many characters to keep up with for a novel of this length. If there had been 50 or so more pages maybe they could have been fleshed out a bit more. This caused some of the supporting characters to feel a little flat and one-dimensional.

The final battle was what pushed it from a 3 star to a 4 star review.  I could feel the tension of the battle and felt like I was right there in the heat of the fight.

This was Mr. Beard’s first book and I think he has a bright future and will only get better. I hope to read more from him in the future.

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Agyar by Steven Brust

AgyarAgyar by Steven Brust

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

This is one of the toughest reviews I have ever written as most anything you say about the book will give much of the surprise away. That being said, the best advice I can give about this book is that the less know about it the more you will enjoy it.

Agyar is told from a first person perspective, chiefly in the form of the main character sitting in the attic and typing his thoughts on an old typewriter. The pacing was a little slow at times and some of the conversations were difficult to follow.

What I liked most about the story was piecing the bits of Agyar’s past together and figuring out who and what is really was. It was not difficult but the author’s writing style made it fun and really kept my interest.