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22 February 2014
[D&D 40th Anniversary Bloghop] Day Twenty-two
OK. I have to play a game of semantics here. I'm pretty sure I know the answer to today's question, but there's some difficulty in my mind with the word "novel." Did the author of the list of questions mean "novel" to be "any non-game book that is associated with the D&D world"? Or did he mean it to be "any non-game book that is associated with the D&D world that is of generally-accepted novel length"?
Here's why I ask the question. Rather, here's why the conundrum is raised.
I'm not as critical of the series as a lot of gamers are. Yeah, Salvatore's not Shakespeare, but he's also published a heck of a lot more than I have. So, he's due a little deference for that, at least. They're a fun read, again, as long as you're not expecting Twain, Steinbeck, or Hemingway. I also like how he treated the dwarves, at least initially. (I take GREAT exception to how dwarves were treated in his Cleric Quintet, on the other hand.) I certainly prefer his writing to that of Ed Greenwood. Although I understand that--for some--that may not be saying too much.
Now, the conundrum.
[Aside: for the record--and to beat my gaming group to it--"Yes, all dwarves are revolting.They're smelly and hairy. We get it. Ha. Ha. End aside.]
Looking at this book again after all this time raises a few questions in my older, more cultured, gamer mind. Why are the dwarves riding horses? And why does the dwarf in the lead look more like a mongol--say, Gengis Khan--than Gimli? Of course, I guess you could make the argument that these are war-ponies and not actual horses...but there's nothing else on the cover that gives a sense of scale.
*There's a specific reason I did not call it a "Choose Your Own Adventure" book. That phrase actually described specific titles published by Bantam. I did not remember these two were separate until I did a search for "choose your own adventure" and "TSR" at which point "Endless Quest" popped up in the results.