RISE OF THE ANCIENTS
Book 1: Bruidd
By Dr. Graham A. Wilson
ABOUT ROTA BK1: BRUIDD
An unlikely invitation compels you to travel to the remote coastal town of Broodhaven to participate in a once-in-a-lifetime competition. There, you soon discover that nothing is as it seems. As you progress through each increasingly dangerous round of the contest, the secrets of the town and its noble families are slowly revealed. A hidden history conceals the truth of your own identity and the real reason why you were summoned here. That which sleeps awakens, and so it falls upon you to confront and overcome an ancient and unimaginable terror! Only you can unlock the past and break the dark cycle! A family legacy must be fulfilled. Destiny awaits! Can you stop the nobles of Broodhaven from unleashing a hideous chaos upon the world, or suffer a fate far worse than death?
In this interactive gamebook, you make the decisions, and you suffer the consequences.
Choose wisely or die trying!
MY GAMEBOOK ADVENTURES
“Everything I want to find in a gamebook - great story, a sense of being in the middle of a breathing world, and real consequences to your actions. It is just so compelling! So much variety crammed into its pages - clever puzzles, chase scenes, tense treasure hunts and the slow reveal of the overall plot. This gamebook is nothing short of ambitious and clever, and yet, the many elements hang together as a cohesive whole, so that I was sad that it eventually came to an end. It is definitely one of the best gamebooks I have played this year, a reminder of why I love this hobby so much!”
RICHIE STEVENS - GAMEBOOK AUTHOR
“Magnificent! Fantastic debut, that I believe will be massive. Complex and deep, with good descriptions and great artwork!” - Richard Stevens, gamebook author.
ADAM MITCHELL - GAMEBOOK AUTHOR.
“This is a real monster of a book and an epic tale! So, before this spoiler free review kicks off, lets get on with the numbers shall we....
Print Length: 684 Pages - 750 Playable sections
Publication Date: 22 November 2020
Dimensions: 15.24 x 4.34 x 22.86 cm,
6.5% Shepard Neame 1698 Kentish Strong Ale (3.5 Units per bottle)
x6 the number of bottles drank while trying to complete this book.
Well, with those all important numbers out the way, lets crack on with the review. This epic tome of a book, the first by the good doctor that I'm aware of, lets you play the role of a vagabond, who is simply trying to survive during tough times. As such, you end up entering a contest to win the jackpot. But the contest isn't the only thing you can enjoy in this book - the fictional city of Broodhaven is rich and well developed, with plenty for you to explore apart from the contest. There really is something for everyone in the city, which means plenty of 'replayability'. But when you get bored of exploring the city and head back for the main game - 'the contest', the hook and twist will set your mind racing quite quickly and turn this into a gamebook that you will remember for many years to come.
This book requires dice and a fair amount of book keeping, which one would expect from a book of this size. For me personally, at times it took me away from the gripping narrative and pacing of the book, but that can't be helped. The writing is superb with touches of some of the greats clearly inspiring his tone and writing style. There are a lot of interesting characters to meet, many of whom have a few interesting secrets of their own and may not have your best interests at heart, which is always fun!
All in all, this is a Fantastic book and a great start to hopefully a very rich series of books. Plus the author goes one better, and has created custom dice and goodies to go along with his epic tale of fantasy. I cannot wait to see what this author brings out in the future, as you have definitely made a fan and avid reader of anything Bruidd. Well done!
PAUL WEST - READER REVIEW
Rise of the Ancients Book 1: Bruidd is a gamebook by Graham Wilson where the reader plays the role of a wandering vagabond who enters a contest to win a ludicrous amount of gold. The contest is split over several events played out over several days and there are twenty-four competitors in total. However, there's a lot more going on in the city of Broodhaven than the competition and the book soon delves into dark fantasy/horror territory, with the protagonist soon realising that there's a lot more than the prize money at stake!
The book requires dice and a bit of record-keeping as one would expect from most gamebooks, but the rules are fairly simple to pick up. The writing is superb and there are a lot of interesting characters to meet, many of whom have a few interesting secrets of their own and may not have your best interests at heart! The city of Broodhaven feels like a real place and has a fascinating history which is gradually revealed as more secrets are uncovered. The protagonist of the story isn't a conventional fantasy hero either - they're just in it for the money, which is a refreshing change of stereotype.
My one criticism of the book is that there are moments when it gets a bit sweary, which sort of comes out of nowhere and broke the immersion somewhat. While this didn't really bother me I could see some readers getting a bit offended by the language. Needless to say, it's not for the kids!
The book itself is absolutely huge, clocking in at 750 references. There are also many internal illustrations which are top-notch. Unfortunately, many of these relate to paragraphs on a previous page so it's easy to miss them when first reading the book! It's understandable, given the sheer size of the book.
All in all, this is thoroughly recommended and I'm looking forward to book 2!
ANDREW JOHSNTON - READER REVIEW
Lockdown blues being what they are, I bought this thinking it might be an interesting diversion for a day or two. I got all that and so much more...
Dr. Graham A. Wilson clearly knows what old school gamebook players want to read. The pursuit of adult themes, internal dialogue, a simple-but effective combat system, and many other elements, make this to me one of the strongest gamebook initial releases since 'Flight from the Dark'. At 750 references there's no scrimping on volume either. Good characterisation, a strong plot, and enough puzzles and riddles to keep the mind as active as the dice.
A triumph end to end, and looking forward to Dr. Wilson's future releases...
Dr. Graham A. Wilson
I am a Computing lecturer with a PhD in software development sustainability, I first encountered interactive gamebooks in 1983 with Fighting Fantasy and Lone Wolf. Having recently rekindled my interest and having discovered a host of new authors publishing gamebooks, I decided to write my own. It's a bit of a monster, but I think that it has a good story as well as enough riddles, puzzles and codes, to keep you thinking.
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