Death of a Darklord
Author: Laurell K. Hamilton
It is bad. Really. And it is very slow starting, It takes forever to get nowhere. Many paper-thin characters, and the plot involving the darklord is bland and not worthy of Lukas (and he doesn’t really die ;) ). Poor ending too. Sad to see a talented writer as Laurell K. Hamilton falling this low.
We learn nothing on the Kartakass domain or Harkon Lukas, so this book is next to useless for a Ravenloft DM looking for inspiration, contrary to most other Ravenloft books.
One concept is interesting: how the healing magic of Elaine is warped by the land. Another good thing is the cover, Lukas is great looking and look ready to rock! (but unfortunately forget what’s between the covers…). 0.5 on 5.
Well what can I say about Death of a Darklord... Hmmmm..
BURN IT, BURN IT.... GET IT AWAY... NO... NOOOOOO!!!!!!!!! The only product that is less Ravenloft than Death of a Darklord is the Iron and Blood, Playstation game. The title was misleading (the death of a darklord was not a major plot point in this book), the writer obviously had never played D&D or Ravenloft before, and well the story itself was a nightmare of bad writing. Generally it was like standing on hot coals while letting them poke razor shards of glass through your fingers. Get this book only if you absolutely must, and then read it in the dark with your eyes closed you won't miss much I promise.
Paniayotis "Ravenharm" Kollias
Giving a review on this book would be like beating a dying horse. yet i find rereading this book, and having read past books by hamilton gives you insight to the chaos behind the scenes of what she brings to the table and what was demanded of her. at least that's what i think of when i read it. this review instead might cut to hamiltons flat use of her one sided male characters. you have solid experienced adventurers who know the ways to survive in monster infested forests yet they all cleave to the will of a blonde trollop of a girl who suddenly gets cursed powers? yet when you get past that and cut through the authors limits you may be surprised by the horror themes she seems to peg on the button. she unsettles readers (me) well by the injuries mutating on the adventurers. all the characters were uninspiring, yet the ending was quite lukas and quite ravenloft. you don't win. the story goes on without you.
This brings me to another point of this books failure which i would point out i don't think it is the authors fault but the publishers instead. ravenloft is a world i don't see with a G and pg 13. rating. i think of it as very rated R. thus there is an allure, a sleekness missing from this book. a type of sexual energy (for total lack of a better term) you find in almost every successful gothic horror theme. And its more blatant in this book then any other, how neutered it is.
2 out of 5
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