Runescape: Betrayal at Falador – T.S. Church (Titan Books)
This story is based on the game Runescape which is a free MMORPG with a ridiculous amount of accounts round the world, over 130 million!!! But even with this many players I had never heard of it before so was unsure what to expect. Am I going to understand what’s going on? Will there be enough background to get me interested? Do I need to play the game? Well you’ll be pleased to know that you DO NOT need to have played the game to get on with this book. I want to get a couple of major criticisms out of the way right at the start. Considering the book is called Betrayal at Falador the main characters are not really involved in uncovering it till right at the end and the characters that are involved in the betrayal are not very fleshed out. Maybe a different title would have been better? Also the chapters titles are very annoying as they basically let you know exactly what’s going to happen in that chapter, can you say spoiler alert?
Apart from this I very quickly found myself engrossed in this book, so much so that I was regularly staying up late to find out what happens next. The story starts with the mysterious appearance of an injured blond girl at a castle of knights, from here the story revolves around a group of 6 individuals who are thrown together and fits the mould of a balanced party, you get a knight, wizard, dwarf etc. how the group interacts though is what keeps you going and makes you want them to succeed. As always there is a generic bad guy and this role if filled by Sulla who has a very personal interest in the group but I won’t divulge what that interest is as I don’t want to spoil it for you. There is also a “monster” terrorising the countryside and pursuing the group for some reason. Everything that happens in the story has one goal, to keep the story moving forward and this achieved masterfully although sometimes the writing used to do this is a bit amateurish and repetitive. There is also a strong religious undertone to the story and beliefs are called into question numerous times during the book which was an interesting little quirk. One thing I will say is that you won’t work out who the traitor at Falador is. There were several times during the story where I thought I had it but I was wrong on each occasion which add a frustrating but enjoyable edge to the story. This is an amazing read and a real page turner although I would like to have seen the story end on a cliff hanger, but hey ho, you can’t have everything. Will Pywell