GuildMag issue #6



The Team's opinion on... Edge of Destiny



Thalador Doomspeaker (Writer):

Edge of Destiny... the book that I wanted the most for 2010, and which I eventually received only in 2011. It was a very exciting, and action-oriented novel. In comparison with Ghosts of Ascalon, the number of conversational parts (where the key characters discussed major events (re)shaping the world) was less, yet it didn't lack too much on the emotional side. What I really loved was that it had a great deal of humor - which I little bit missed from GoA. I found myself laughing quite often, mainly at the Rytlock & Logan situations/bickerings, and nearly everything that had to do something with Master Snaff or Rytlock (that guy should run a show). On the negative side, many of the fighting scenes felt a little bit forced, though a few of them still had me excited of what was coming next. Even then, the Battle of the Crystal Desert was by far the best.


I liked every member of Destiny's Edge, and it was good that Mr. King didn't emphasize their good characteristics only. Also, the "supporting" characters were formed really well too. Queen Jennah was my favourite, immediately followed by Magnus. I can't wait to get the legendary guild back together, thus I truly hope that the "someday" that was mentioned in the end is in "danger close."


The new information on the Elder Dragons and Tyria was really appreciated and it reignited some good discussions on the lore forum of GW2Guru. Because of this and the aforementioned things, I'd like to thank everyone who helped Mr. King in writing this book.


(@ Kralkatorrik: I hope you're reading this. I don't care what my chosen order wants to do with you, but you will go down for what you've done, you son of a... flying dune lizard.)


Rating: 9/10



Konig Des Todes (Writer):

Edge of Destiny was a nice read. There were multiple parts where I couldn't help but cringe. There were a lot of jokes put in that felt really forced in there, and in turn becoming jokes which only those well versed in some amount of GW lore (mostly gw1) would know. For instance, early on in the book the narration says Rytlock was in torment but "not the Realm of Torment," said mention of the Realm of Torment had no connection outside the word "torment" and to me, that is a double-edged sword. Outside of forced jokes, there were a small handful of lines in the fight scenes which just otherwise feel forced in (particularly, how they kill Morgus Lethe). Likewise, the book felt too fast-paced and, in turn, too mushed together. The first third of the book was fine in this regard, but once the group gets together and starts hunting champions, you get gaps the size of months and so few events between those gaps. It begins to feel like they disappeared for months before they did anything again, as if nothing happened and then everything happens and then nothing happens again. But perhaps I'm just over-exaggerating.


However, the characters were exceptionally enjoyable to read. Despite what people say about Logan after they read the book, I enjoyed how each and every character was made. Unsurprisingly, Snaff was my favorite character - I think he was for most people. My only hope is that there's still more to the Elder Dragons than what the novel reveals.


Rating: 8/10



BarGamer (Editor):

Four word review: Needs more fart jokes.


Ok, in all seriousness, I liked EoD a lot more than GoA. Never mind the banter, never mind the action, never mind the rushed ending that left the remaining members shattered, physically and emotionally. I identified with Logan more than Dougal. Logan is brave, smart, funny, and can kick several kinds of ass. Dougal is an emo coward who can't even keep his sword in one piece. I cared more about The Golem's Eye than I did about Dougal. When he got betrayed, I actually cheered for his death. On the other hand, when Logan "betrays" the rest of Destiny's Edge, I just knew that someone was about to die. I had to encourage myself to keep reading and steel myself against the anguish of losing someone I had just gotten to know.


draxynnic (Writer):
I commented in the Ghosts of Ascalon review about how books based in game worlds (and shared worlds in general) tend to be somewhat simplistic compared to other books in the genre. While Edge of Destiny is still not exactly the book you would choose for complex plots and twists developed across hundred of pages, it is definitely a step above the usual fare, and quite an enjoyable few hours of reading.


One thing that helped to give EoD some more depth was a different style compared to Ghosts of Ascalon - the latter was essentially written as an introduction to the world to a reader unfamiliar with the world, while Edge of Destiny is more inclined to just get on with the story. This doesn't mean that it gives insufficient information for a reader new to Tyria to avoid getting lost, but like most novels it sticks to the information directly related to the plot and avoids the long information dumps that characterized its predecessor.

I found the interactions between the characters quite entertaining, and Rytlock's joviality in general serves to show the more playful nature of the charr in contrast to the seriousness and somberness evinced by the charr we had seen before, Seer Fiercereign's morbid humour notwithstanding.


Going into potential spoilers: Regarding certain controversial events, I don't really think Logan could have made a different choice and still been true to himself, even with the personal consideration. One of Logan's characteristics that is hammered throughout the book is that he is more defensive than offensive in nature - with other threats closer to Kryta, the chaos that could have resulted from Logan refusing the call for help would likely have increased the overall danger to the people of Kryta more than the continued survival of a single, relatively distant threat. Furthermore, the actions Logan took after making his choice likely set the stage for the charr-human truce.


Rating: 8/10



Malchior Devenholm (Head-Editor/Podcaster):

First off, Ghosts of Ascalon and Edge of Destiny are the only two fantasy novels I've read, so if you consider yourself a fantasy novel connoisseur, then you have every right to take my words with a grain of salt and disregard them. These are just my first impressions on the novel.


I found Edge of Destiny about 5-10 times more enjoyable than Ghosts of Ascalon. Where GoA fleshed out lore and delved into the history between Guild Wars 1 and Guild Wars 2, Edge of Destiny just seeks to deliver kickass combat throughout the entire novel. From the battle in the night where Logan and Rytlock first confront each other, all the way to the battle against Kralkatorrik and the attack on Ebonhawke, the novel always seems to want to shove the reader into a battlefield of some kind. However, it is when the story shifts away from the battlefield that I saw some awesome intricacies that stood out from the endless combat. Logan wants to be as strong as Dylan, even though he doesn't realize he surpassed Dylan even before their duel in the queen's garden. Eir wants to avenge her father, but she's so critical of herself that she felt their failure against Kralkatorrik was from her inferior plan. Snaff knows Zojja has more innate talent than himself, but her lack of knowledge can make her a threat, both to herself and everyone around her. Rytlock strives against bullies from his past, which ultimately allows him to accept a human into his warband. The character development in Edge of Destiny goes on and on, which allows you to feel more attached to these heroes than anyone in Ghosts of Ascalon, (except for Caithe. A sylvari for 10-20 pages, then turned into a generic Assassin. I miss Killeen!)


The pace of the story feels entirely rushed during the second part of the book. There is no time given to explore the environments, or mill about in the cities they are trying to defend from the dragon champions. There isn't even a detailed plan of attack, any sense of time, or a connection to the heroes. It's just the gang already present at the champion's lair, following Eir's plan, maybe running into a bump or two in the execution of said plan, and ultimately, succeeding with hardly any difficulty. I mean, we've seen how people can get one-shotted by the Shatterer in the demo, so why do six people handle three dragon champions with such ease? It feels like each champion could have been a book in themselves, with further content in between about the struggles to reach each champion, and further plot developments into the heroes' histories and relations between each other.


Finally, the ending just made me want to bury my head in my pillow and cry (which I almost did). It's so absurd and frustrating, yet at the same time, completely reasonable to relate to Logan leaving the group like he did. Then again, it's not his fault. It all falls on that witch Jennah, who knew the gravity of the situation, but fell to her human fears, urges, desires, or whatever the reader can insert to represent his or her own intentions. Ask yourself, "If faced at the point of death, where you felt you could not survive, wouldn't you call your loved one to see them one last time?" Jennah's choice at the end of the book is a perfect example of how we humans tend to use power, status, position, or any kind of leverage to get whatever we want, no matter the consequences. I still want to punch her in the face when I see her in Guild Wars 2, but I applaud J. Robert King for connecting to the reader in the deepest way possible, the innate, fallible nature of his or her human self.


Overall, Edge of Destiny is a great link to both the heroes and the personalities of each of the races of Guild Wars 2. A fresh mind eager to dive into the Guild Wars universe would not be dismayed by picking up this book, but it is best enjoyed by one who has played the original Guild Wars and can compare the atmosphere, hardships, and racial characteristics of the original game to their counterparts found in Edge of Destiny.


Rating: 9/10

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