Wednesday, March 23, 2011

RuneScape: Return to Canifis Book Review

Title: RuneScape: Return to Canifis

Author: T.S. Church

Written by: Karen Benardello

Vampires, werewolves and wizards have certainly cast a spell on the living in recent years, as evident in the number of books, movies and television shows focusing on the undead that have topped the charts. when Titan Books first announced it was releasing the novel RuneScape: Return to Canifis, which is based on one of the most played and popular Java-based massively multi-player online role-playing games (MMORPG) in the world, it seemed like the publishing company was on the track to launching another popular vampire franchise. However, author T.S. Church ultimately alienated people unfamiliar with the RuneScape game with his finished work, as he introduced far too many characters and secondary stories before getting to the main plot-line.

Return to Canifis, which is the sequel to the first RuneScape novel, 2008’s Betrayal at Falador, follows heroine Kara-Meir and her companions six months after they defeated and disfigured the evil Lord Sulla. Werewolf Gar’rth and the priestess Arisha accompany Kara-Meir into the Wilderness to track Sulla and his werewolf Jerrod. The remaining Falador heroes, Wizard Castimir, Dwarf Doric and Alchemist Ebenezer, have returned to their homeland.

Meanwhile, Squire Theodore, who has romantic feelings for Kara-Meir, is busy recruiting and training new soldiers for the Falador army in the city of Varrock in an effort to replace the numerous fighters who died in the battle against Sulla. However, an undead, winged creature from the evil realm of Morytania has been killing random men, women and children in Varrock. The creature seems to foreshadow the coming of the Vampire Lord Drakan, who holds immense power. He is believed to be one of the major figures in the on-bringing of a new king.

The Falador heroes reunite in Varrock to make the journey to Morytania, where werewolves and vampires roam free. The group must end the power struggle between the most powerful Lords in order to save Varrock.

Return to Canifis is a must-read for fan of the RuneScape MMORPG. Church gives a massively detailed back-story for all of the characters, which helps players who haven’t read Betrayal of Falador to fully understand what’s going on in this world of Varrock. The story is told from the viewpoints of various characters, so readers can understand how the characters all play a part in the Falador hero’s quest to Morytania. Church’s extensive research into multiple lifestyles, including those of the soldiers, scientists and the undead, clearly shines through in his meticulous description of every detail of life in Varrock and Morytania. While Church determined the fate of the characters, instead of the game players, they will still feel as though they’re on the journey from Varrock to Morytania with the Falador heroes.

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