Title: Ghosts of Ascalon
Author: Matt Forbeck
First published January 1, 2010
370 pages, Mass Market Paperback
ISBN: 9781416589471 (ISBN10: 1416589473)
Long ago, Ascalon was a prosperous kingdom until the devastating Foefire destroyed it. The once glorious land became a shadow of its former self, haunted by the ghosts of those who perished.
Now, centuries later, the descendants of Ascalon are in danger and the only hope for peace is a treaty with the charr. However, the Claw of the Khan-Ur, the prized possession of the charr, is buried deep in the ruins of Ascalon.
To retrieve it, a group of unlikely heroes embark on a dangerous mission into the war-torn, ghostly land. But they are not alone, as they are plagued by their own ghosts.
Will they be able to retrieve the Claw and bring peace to the land, or will the undead king of Ascalon stop them in their tracks? Find out in Ghosts of Ascalon by Matt Forbeck.
About the Author
I’m a proud father of five, including a set of quadruplets, and I’ve been fortunate enough to receive awards and become a bestselling author and game designer, as featured in Forbeck.com.
Ghost of Ascalon by Matt Forbeck is an enthralling adventure novel that would excite fans of fantasy fiction. Matt Forbeck is an established novelist who has written several books for the gaming industry, including Dungeons & Dragons, Magic: The Gathering, and Halo.
Ghosts of Ascalon is his first novel set in the Guild Wars universe, which is a popular multiplayer online game developed by ArenaNet. The novel tells the story of three unlikely companions who band together to retrieve a treasure called the Claw of the Khan-Ur from the ruins of Ascalon City.
Dougal Keane, a human warrior, is tasked with leading the mission by his employer, the Krytan royal family. Riona Grady, a charr, and Killeen, an asura, join him on the mission, along with other characters who have their own motives for being involved.
The plot builds around the unique characteristics of each of the characters, their backgrounds, and their interests. Dougal is looking to redeem himself from an earlier failure, and Riona is out to protect her family’s honor.
Killeen is a researcher with an insatiable craving for knowledge. The world that these characters inhabit is filled with magic, danger, and, perhaps most interestingly, cultural diversity.
The novel maintains the elements of the Guild Wars universe, including the game’s different races, classes, and professions. However, as a standalone story, it is accessible to newcomers who do not have prior knowledge or experience of the game.
The strengths of the novel are many. The plot is engaging and action-packed, with several twists and turns that keep the reader hooked until the end.
The characters are vividly and intricately drawn, with their quirks and complexities, making them relatable and believable. The world-building is masterful, with vivid descriptions of the places, characters, and culture that create a captivating picture in the reader’s mind.
However, there are a few minor pitfalls in the novel. While the action scenes are well-written, some of the quieter moments drag on for too long, disrupting the pacing.
Also, the characterization of some of the supporting characters leaves something to be desired, making it hard to form a connection with them. Overall, Ghosts of Ascalon is an excellent addition to the Guild Wars universe and a great standalone novel for fans of adventure and fantasy fiction.
The novel is skillfully written, and with its engaging plot and world-building, is sure to leave the reader wanting more. In terms of rating, I would give Ghosts of Ascalon a solid four out of five stars, with the caveat that it may not appeal to everyone.
I would recommend this book to fans of the Guild Wars franchise or anyone who enjoys fast-paced action and intricate world-building.