Keep of the Ancient King by Mike Carr
Reviewed by Jason Koivu
My rating: 3 of 5 stars
I went home for a visit and to my surprise I found a Fantasy Forest book! I don't know what the hell it was doing in the back of a closest at my mom's house. It wasn't one of mine from when I was a kid and I don't remember my brother getting into these. Oh well! Don't look a mysterious gift horse in the mouth!
Fantasy Forest was a made-for-children offshoot of the Endless Quest books, which were the Dungeons & Dragons version of the Choose Your Own Adventure books. Did you get that? To put it plain, Fantasy Forest books were fantasy-genre CYOAs for youngsters. Probably 8 to 10 would be a good age.
The Keep of the Ancient King doesn't have too many kings, but there is a prince, as well as a few trolls, minotaurs, dwarves and assorted baddies. In this light fantasy, some evil dudes have taken over an old keep and the Good Knight and his cohorts enlist the services of an innkeeper's dainty daughter to fight that evil. In this CYOA you are that girl. And might I add, you make a lovely little girl!
Since this is written for kids the adventure moves quickly along and the text does not go deep into characterization or scene description. That's fine and I probably would've been a-okay with the writing had I read this back in the day at an appropriate age. So yeah, ignore my three stars. I just picked a rating to pick a rating. This could've been anything. And it probably will be rated anything by anybody with widely varying appeal depending on the reader's age and gender, and their level of love for horsies. That last part is really important in Keep of the Ancient King.
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