||Ford Street Publishing
A thrilling science fiction adventure for teens who are into computer gaming.
Official Gamers' Quest website
Tark and Zyra are teenage thieves in a world of magic and science, where dragons and mages exist alongside drones and lasers. In their quest to reach Designers Paradise, they realise their world is not what it appears to be, and their sanctuary is about to face destruction…
"Fast and fun, a thrilling ride with enough blood, slime and toad-flinging to satisfy RL Stine."
CAROLE WILKINSON, author of the Dragonkeeper novels.
Tark peered through the undergrowth at the cave. All seemed peaceful and quiet. But appearances could be deceptive, especially in the Forest.Tark had never taken on a dragon before. He’d never even seen one. He was just a common thiever and dragons were well out of his league. No one below a knight, second class, would attempt such an encounter. And yet, here he was.
‘Oi!’ Tark shouted as he approached the cave. ‘Dragon! Ya in there?’
‘Bring outs yar gold. I is ’ere ta takes it from ya.’
A deep rumble came from the cave. Suddenly Tark wasn’t so sure about what he was doing. A wisp of grey smoke escaped from the mouth of the cave. Tark quickly drew his cloak up around himself. A small burst of flame shot from the mouth of the cave, right at him. Tattered though it was, his cloak had enough power to protect him from the heat.
As Tark peered out from behind the folds of material, the dragon emerged. It was a lot smaller than he had expected. Tark had imagined a gargantuan beast with smouldering eyes, smoking nostrils and enormous bursts of fire spewing from its mouth.
But this dragon was only about twice Tark’s size, and Tark was not all that tall. Its eyes were round and blue; its scales, azure and shimmering; its snout, short and somewhat squishy-looking. It was hardly what he would call fierce. ‘Cute’ seemed a more apt descriptor.
‘Wot kind of a dragon is ya?’ asked a puzzled Tark, lowering his cloak.
‘What kind of a knight are you?’ retorted the dragon, slowly shuffling along towards Tark.
‘I ain’t no knight. I is a thiever.’ Tark puffed out his chest proudly.
‘Lords of Fire preserve us,’ sighed the dragon, rolling his eyes and coming to a halt three armslengths from Tark. ‘What has our little forest realm come to, when a common cutpurse with delusions of grandeur comes to steal from a mighty dragon?’
‘Yeah well,’ said Tark, hand taking hold of the sword’s hilt under his cloak. ‘Ya don’t looks too mighty from where I is standin’.’
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Reader Reviews for "Gamers' Quest"
|Reviewed by Sharon Richards
|In recent years, computer games have gone way beyond the likes of Pacman, Space Invaders and such. These days you can take on an avatar and “live” in Second Life, for example. When I was much younger, you could play Dungeons and Dragons around a table, with other fans. It was very sociable and you collected gold, treasure, skills and weapons at the roll of a pair of dice, going up to higher levels as you went. Now, you can go on-line to do the same thing.
What would happen if the avatars wanted the same thing, only in our world?
Anyone who has read the original short story on which this is based, in the Ford Street anthology Trust Me! will know immediately what’s going on in this novel, so I’m not giving much away. Even if you haven’t read the original, you pick it up fairly speedily.
Teenage thieves Tark and Zyra live in a world in which magic is mixed with technology. You can be using a sword o’light to kill a dragon one moment and battling a cyborg the next. The reasons for this become clear fairly soon. The young thieves use their ill-gotten gains to give them time in Designers’ Paradise, where they can do exotic things such as go to school, then home to do homework and watch television. But they have gotten in trouble with a character known as the Fat Man, who will not give up the chase, even when they are making their way to Designers’ Paradise. And Designers’ Paradise, when they get there, is also in danger…
A good introduction to speculative fiction for younger readers, this one is non-stop action with a light touch. There is a lot of delightful over-the-top silliness – you wouldn’t for example, want to be a mage in this world, where you can end up a toad if your spell bounces back at you. The story is a cross between a computer game and Dungeons and Dragons, with a touch of Westworld. The cover art is by wonderful book illustrator Les Petersen, who did the covers for Simon Haynes’ Hal Spacejock novels and several for Andromeda Spaceways Inflight Magazine. The images of Tark and Zyra look like computer game avatars, giving a strong hint of what the novel is about.
The author has set up a web site, http://www.gamersquestbook.com ,for readers who would like more stories about his characters.