Tuesday, July 5, 2022

Review: The Questmaster's Trap by Frank L. Cole

Today's read is for RPG fans and takes place in a fantasy simulation. I'm falling back into my old habit of starting a series with book two instead of the first one, so we'll see how this one goes. It's for middle graders, which is refreshing, since I've only had RPGs like this for the young adult audience on here before. 

Champion's Quest, #2
by Frank L. Cole
Shadow Mountain
Middle Grade Fantasy / RPG
288 pages
ages 8 to 12

OCTOBER 4th!!!

Another role-playing game of Champion’s Quest awaits our young champions, but this time they are tricked into leaving the real world and tossed into the fantasy game that is a dangerous trap filled with new and challenging foes.

Teammates Lucas, Miles, and Jasmine—known as the Wild Crows—have been summoned by the wizard Gamemaster, Hob, to play another magical, adventurous game of Champion’s Quest. When the three friends are ambushed and forced into their second game, Lucas and his friends are ill-prepared to face what feels like an impossible quest—confront an evil centaur and outsmart a villainous, shapeshifting Questmaster to rescue a powerful magical ally. 

An unexpected team member, Sierra, joins the Wild Crows to complete their band of champions. Can she be trusted or is she a spy? But Lucas has bigger problems to worry about. For starters, he struggles to keep his panic attacks in check as he leads his friends on a journey across unexplored lands filled with shadow elves, wyverns, hobgoblins, giants, and evil trees. 

Using their wits, their powerful weapons, and hoping for some luck when rolling the magical game dice, the Wild Crows know what’s at stake: Complete their quest before time runs out, or the world of Champion’s Quest will be destroyed.



Note: I read this one without diving into the first book in the series, and while there were a few references, which I was missing out on, it was no problem to get lost in the adventure.

With the air of Dungeons & Dragons, this world and characters draw in and weave as much friendship into the tale as action.

The Wild Crows, a group of friends, managed to complete their first round in the exciting game world and are back in normal life. But when they are suddenly forced into another round with a new member, things get more interesting. Not only will the new quests stretch them to new limits, but no one is sure what to think of this new team member, especially since the only way to make it through is to give complete trust...considering she may be a spy, that might be what brings them down.

The author has created a rich world, which is easy to visualize and get lost in. While I assume most of this was set-up in book one already, I was pleasantly surprised that there was more to discover, right along with the characters. And what an enjoyable bunch of characters these are! The friends are enjoyable to accompany, and it's not hard to wish to be right there with them. My favorite character is actually the 'new' one, but then all of them have something to offer. 

There's a great contrast with the good and evil. While the wizards are unique and not always transparent, it's the evil characters, which really grab. Plus, there's a large variety of imaginative creatures, including an evil centaur (which seemed unique). All of them create gripping scenes and make the world that much richer.

While action keeps the pages turning, there's also the message of friendship and trust. The Wild Crows share a close bond, and this gets tested over and over again, especially with the introduction of the new character. In order to make it through this adventure, this trust is key and trust isn't always easily won and held.

I really enjoyed this adventure and am looking forward to see where it is going next. 

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