Not too long ago I discussed Quest for Glory. It was originally titled Hero’s Quest, but that ran into trademark issues and got changed. Heroine’s Quest is, in many ways, a homage to the QfG series and to point-and-click adventure games in general. It’s just, most clearly, a homage to QfG1. It’s most visible in the fact that it has the same character classes and the same “Different classes different solutions” approach to problem solving. Our heroine is a blonde-haired young woman who looks a fair amount like Kyrandia’s Zanthia. (This is not the only reference to classic games you’ll find either. The game is filled with them and quite a lot of them aren’t the least bit subtle about it. I’ve seen Cedric from KG5 (whom, looking at the Steam achievements, looks like he can be killed with the right skill set), Keapon Laffin from QfG2… There’s the babelfish thingie from Indiana Jones and the Fate of Atlantis; you can recount stories that aren’t yours to characters — such as Monkey Island and King’s Quest 1 — though you don’t regale them with full recaps; several screens are reminiscent of others. (One has a not-quite-secret hidden in a stream ala QfG4.) Etc. It’s good fun.
The Privilege of the Sword is a book beloved by several of my friends. I don’t think they’ve ever recommended the book to me, but they did encourage me to read it when they learned I had it. It’s taken me a while, but I finally got to reading it. I’ve always been under the impression that this was the first of the Riverside books until I’d finished it. Of course that just shows you how much attention I pay to the order of loose series, but it’s perfectly possible to read this as a stand-alone.
Welcome to Riverside, where the aristocratic and the ambitious battle for power in the city’s ballroom, brothels and boudoirs. Into this alluring world walks Katherine, a well-bred country girl versed in the rules of conventional society. Her mistake is thinking that they apply. For Katherine’s host and uncle, Alec Campion, aka the Mad Duke Tremontaine, is in charge here—and to him, rules are made to be broken. When Alec decides it would be more amusing for his niece to learn swordplay than to follow the usual path to marriage, her world changes forever. Blade in hand, it’s up to Katherine to navigate a maze of secrets and scoundrels and to gain the self-discovery that comes to those who master: the privilege of the sword.
Somehow, I have the feeling that I’ve already discussed these games before – I must have; it’s not been that long since I finished QfG4 for the first time — but I’m going to mention them again anyway. Because if we’re talking about games and things that defined my childhood fantasy love in some form of detail, these need to be mentioned. I should be careful with these. I’ll have nothing new to say next year if I keep it up.
Anyway! Quest for Glory is another set of Sierra’s adventure games. Unlike King’s Quest, QfG throws in RPG elements and all games focus on the same protagonist: an unnamed, blond-haired, would-be hero. You get to play as a fighter, a mage or a thief and which class you pick will determine the way you can solve the puzzles. That said, practically nothing but grinding stands in your way of making your character a multiclassed character. (Well, that and potentially messing up the rest of your games when you get gifts suited to the class you’re not focusing on.)
I discussed the Might and Magic franchise in more general terms back in January. I focused mostly on the overarching science fictional elements that tie much of the games together into an ongoing saga, some of the history behind the games’ development and some of my memories of playing these games as a child.
This time around, I’d like to focus a little on the fantastical aspects of the games! Which are… shall we say numerous. (M&M7 starts with your beginner level party having to slay dragon. I’m just saying.) Aside from dragons there are elves, dwarves, orcs, griffons, unicorns… It depends a little on the game you’re playing as the world you’re playing on changes and, as a result, so do some of the creatures you’ll face.
I am tired, minorly grumpy and have a massive headache. So I shall keep this short! (All of it, mind you.) I am minorly sad about that as I really wish I had enough words to say shiny things about most all of these books. Half of the books here are by friends and fellow indie authors, so I will undoubtedly try again. Hopefully I’ll manage some more expanded thoughts on them later. (Also one of them isn’t out yet, so. You shall have to wait until closer to the release date.)
What I’ve Read
Aunt Adeline’s Bequest by Amy Rae Durreson: Awwww. I read this far too late for Valentine’s, for which it was written, and I do wish it’d been a little longer, but awwww. It’s very sweet.
A Dinner of Herbs by Elizabeth Conall and Anne B. Walsh: These were wonderful. I did find myself wishing the stories’d been longer and a little more fleshed out, but what can I say? I’m greedy. They’re some amazing stories and you should go read them. <3
Magic Bites by Ilona Andrews: I think it’s safe to say that urban fantasy just isn’t really my thing, but I did quite enjoy the narrative in this. It didn’t blow me away as I was led to believe I might, though. I also discovered that deliberately withholding information that the character (presumably) has and just hinting at its existence annoys the heck out of. :/
The Raven Boys by Maggie Stiefvater: My thoughts are here and the less said about it the better.
Sing to Me by Becca Lusher: You’ll have to wait on my full thoughts as I’m rereading the actually published version now, but, I heart. I look forward to talking about this one. I HAVE SO MANY FEELS AND OMG DÓMA STOP BEING SO MUCH LIKE ME. Go read it.
The Storyteller and Her Sisters by Cheryl Mahoney: So looking forward to when this is released. All I will say for now is that if you enjoy fairytale retellings, I heartily and happily recommend this.
Winds of Change edited by Elizabeth Fitzgerald: As per the usual with anthologies there were stories I liked more and ones I liked less. There was more scifi (and horror) than I was expecting, which isn’t a bad thing, but it’s a thing. It’s actually very hard for me to feel strongly about anthologies. I did enjoy the majority of the stories, but there are always a couple that just don’t work for me in any way.
I’m in the Middle of Reading
Sing to Me by Becca Lusher: Yep, again. So far I haven’t landed on any big changes, so I’m pretty content with my little f/f romance of sweetness.
What I’ve Played
Heroine’s Quest: The Herald of Ragnarok: Good fun! It’s like QfG but with a female lead and Norse mythology. My full thoughts will be going up later this month, but in brief if you like the mix of RPG and point-and-click that is QfG then you’ll probably enjoy this game too. (Also, it’s free.)
What I’ve Watched
As per usual, I have entirely forgotten. I’m hopeless, I know.