Tom S. Church writes books based on the online game RuneScape. I have never played it, but my son is a great fan. He bought the books and I read them.
BETRAYAL AT FALADOR (2008)
I started reading Betrayal at Falador expecting it to be a quest-like book. It is. While not exclusively for RuneScape fans, Betrayal at Falador will probably suit fans more than it suited me.
Betrayal at Falador begins with the discovery of a young woman by Squire Theodore. Squire Theodore belongs to the order of the White Knights in Falador. The young woman is close to death but the order’s leader, Sir Amik Varze is able to save her. In her possession is a strange sword, a shattered ring and a mysterious flower.
While the Knights are trying to discover the young woman’s origins, a creature is killing and devouring people in the country side. When Theodore is sent to Taverley to the druids to discover where the flower is from. While at Taverley Theodore meets up with his friend Castimir (apprentice wizard), the alchemist Ebenezer and his young companion Gar’rth. All three will become vital to the story in Betrayal at Falador. As the story continues, we meet up with the dwarf Doric. He ends up back at Falador and becomes one of the companions around whom this series revolves.
The young woman turns out to be Kara-Meir, the daughter of a woods-man. She is pursued by the Kinsha knights led by Sulla. He and his men killed her parents and the people of the village she lived in. Now her only aim in life is to gain revenge.
I’ve read the three books written thus far in the series. This first novel was fairly average. Perhaps that has something to do with the fact that it is TS Church’s first novel. His language was fairly simple and the text did not flow well.
RETURN TO CANIFIS (2011)
Return to Canifis sees an improvement in the writing of TS Church. The text flows easier. There aren’t as many rocks in the way this time.
The time is some months after the end of Betrayal at Falador. The companions have gone on separate quests, but have agreed to meet at the capitol, Varrock.
At Varrock people have been disappearing mysteriously. A monster is on the loose killing people. Others are being spirited away to Morytania, the land where vampires rule and people are cattle. People are afraid and the king ends up sending the companions off to Morytania, leaving Ebenezer behind. Their quest is to prevent a new King ruling Varrock, namely a vampire King.
As I said, the writing has improved in Return to Canifis. TS Church has tightened the plot, filled out his characters and added tension between the companions.
Legacy of Blood is clearly the better of these three novels. TS Church has tightened his plot further and his characters, especially Gar’rth have had quite a development.
Now Kara-Meir and Gar’rt are seemingly on opposite sides in this struggle. Gar’rth is with his father in Morytania while Kara-Meir is back in Varrock with the rest of the companions.
All of them will face difficult choices. Not all of them will survive, but in the end the greatest question is whether Gar’rth will prevail or if he will have to be killed by his friends as he succumbs to the blood-lust.