Stormslayer by Jonathan Green

(9.0/10)

Fighting Fantasy was a series that found huge success in the 1980’s and has now returned with new editions of the original titles as well as some brand new tales, of which Stormslayer is one.

Like the rest of the series, Stormslayer is both a novel and a role-playing game. The reader is given the freedom to make decisions on behalf of the protagonist. Through decision making and chance, as dictated by a roll of the dice, the reader drives the narrative onwards, battling a host of weird creatures along the way.

Stormslayer is based in a fantasy world where the hero must defeat elemental foes to find out who is using the fierce powers of nature for their own evil ends.

The story feels a little lacking in originality at times but the numbered paragraphs are descriptive and well written. Just as important as the story are the game mechanics, which work very well. It took a few reads of the rules to get to grips with them but it soon feels like an intuitive system. The hero is given ratings for skill, stamina and luck. In any given situation these ratings plus a roll of the dice will decide the outcome. The strong role playing elements of the title make it extremely easy to become invested in your hero and this makes for a gripping read. Cleverly, the publishers have printed random dice rolls on each page so that if you don’t have any dice handy you can still enjoy the book.

However, I found that through the action of rolling the physical dice I felt a lot more involved and a pencil and paper to keep track of your character’s circumstances are a must. Resources such as character sheets are available to print for free from the publisher’s website which makes the hero’s life that little bit easier.

Stormslayer is a lot of fun and could be enjoyed by children and adults alike. There are mild horrific elements although these are no more severe than an average episode of Doctor Who and I suspect these books might appeal to the same audience.

I wouldn’t ordinarily review a book without having reached the end, something I’m determined to do. I’ve lost a fight with a Manticore and fallen from a great height into a lava pit already, so let’s hope it’s third time lucky for me and Erien Stormchild.

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