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Fable: The Balverine Order

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#1 Virgil Vox

Virgil Vox
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Posted 17 October 2010 - 12:21 PM

So this is a book review, so it might belong better in Reviews, but since it's set in a game universe and Fable 3 is coming out in a few weeks, I thought it would be better to put it here. If a mod wants to move it that's fine.

The Balverine Order, written by Peter David, is set between Fable 2 and 3. It centers around two young men named Thomas and James. Thomas is the son of a merchant, while James is his servant/best friend. When he was younger, Thomas saw his older brother killed by a balverine. The problem with that is that most people believe that balverines don't exist. Industrialization is in full effect, and most magical creatures have long since disappeared. After Thomas's mother dies, Thomas decides to leave home and find a real balverine. James goes with him. They head east, since that's where they believe the balverines have gone to and of course they run into a lot of trouble on their quest.

I liked this book a lot. The friendship between Thomas and James is believable, and they're both distinct characters with different viewpoints. The game also utilizes the Fable universe quite well. It starts off in Bowerstone, but quickly moves to new areas of Albion, yet they feel like they could have easily stepped out of the game. The friends even find a dog along the way who becomes their faithful companion. The abilities of Strength, Skill, and Will are used. Spells like Raise Dead, Vortex, Inferno, Blades, etc. come into play. Obviously you can't have a game called The Balverine Order without balverines. Those beasts do eventually make it into the game. Several other creatures also pop up. There's plenty of action and comedic bits.

The novel is set up like a fable. A king of a distant land is being told the story of Thomas and James by a storyteller. Throughout the book there are interludes featuring these two characters. It's pretty effective.

If your a fan of the Fable games, then you'll probably like this book. Even if you've never played the games, then you'll still like this book. It's a quick, fun read that is sure to entertain anyone.
"You will give the people an ideal to strive towards. They will race behind you. They will stumble. They will fall. But in time, they will join you in the sun. In time, you will help them accomplish wonders."

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-- Harry S. Truman

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