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.