Reviews and Recommendations by Mel Odom, Professional Writer


John DeChancie Castle Perilous

People who are coming through the doors of Castle Perilous for the first time are in for a treat. I first entered the castle almost 30 years ago, though it does not seem so long ago. I recently re-read the book on an e-reader and was surprised at how much of the story and characters I remembered, and how much I had even on a re-read.

There are eight books in the Castle Perilous series, and I’m truly surprised that John DeChancie didn’t continue writing them. I know there are a lot of fans out there, and with 144,000 doors in the castle and dozens of Guests (with a capital G), there are a ton of stories surely waiting to be told.

In this first book, there’s a loose plot that’s kind of filled in along the way by a dozen or so major characters, many different settings, and a sense of wonder that never goes away. I love all the characters, though it’s really weird reading about Gene and Linda now that I’m older than them instead or more like a peer. But Snowclaw is Snowclaw and just a lot of fun.

The story is light and frothy, as are the characters, but the jokes are plenty, the twists and turns are at times surprising and at others predictable (if you’re a savvy reader, you’re rewarded). This isn’t a book, or a series, that will introduce a well-read reader to anything new, but it is playful and fun and surprising.

Turning through the pages, I couldn’t help but feel I was in a dungeon crawl in a D&D game from back in my college days, and that’s not a bad feeling at all.


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