Posted on August 21, 2012 AT 11:00am
Every adventure begins with the first step and ever since fans of the franchise Fable took those first steps eight years ago, they’ve been clamoring for each subsequent chapter since. And Fable: The Journey is bound to be no exception. But to help possibly satiate fans a little while longer before its October release, a prequel book titled Fable: Edge of the World has been released to help bridge the time gap that takes place between each Fable game.
Written by New York Times bestselling author Christie Golden, who is more than accustomed to writing in the world of geekdom with several Star Wars, Star Trek, Starcraft, and World of Warcraft books already to her credit, Fable: Edge of the World provides unique challenges because as it follows the hero of Fable III ten years into his reign, she is shaping the world around decisions many of us may not have made. This disconnect to the main character immediately left a sour taste in my mouth, but I somehow found a way to push onward.
The book’s basic premise is that the legendary land of Samarkand, best known to Fable fans for where Reaver and Garth ventured to after Fable II, has been overrun by the shadowy forces that threatened Albion in Fable III. The king and his trusted aides must now meet this threat head-on before it spreads unchecked as new and old villains alike rear their heads to cause trouble for the entire kingdom while the king is off in a faraway land.
Now, I understand that the entire premise of the book is to simply provide set-up for the upcoming game, but I couldn’t help but feel cheated after reading this book because the story felt wholly incomplete. That there was almost no feeling of resolution whatsoever and after spending all this time introducing new characters and changing what was actually the story of my personal Fable, I was left twiddling my thumbs, staring at the back of the book as if another 50 pages would magically appear to finish what Golden started here.
This was nothing more than a 250-page tease that instead of holding me over until October, has driven me into a mad Fable-frenzy as I need to play Fable: The Journey now to know how the story ends, or at least continues. In terms of selling games, this is actually a brilliant maneuver. In terms of just being an avid fantasy reader though, this blatant attempt at playing off my consumerism is infuriating.
This does give me a glimmer of hope at least for the story of Fable: The Journey though in terms of providing an interesting and compelling tale that fleshes out the myths and legends of Albion, as well as making sure that we will all have a new and interesting adventure on our hands as the idea of exploring Samarkand in a game has me very excited indeed. Of course, this is just speculation from the book as the only times the character of Gabriel, your protagonist in Fable: The Journey, is even mentioned is in the Prologue and Epilogue, but with half the book taking place there and it having been referenced several times over in previous Fable titles, it only makes sense that we would visit there at some point and that something big is being set up.
Despite the potential opportunities for adventure this book may hint at though in the October game, as a read in and of itself, I found Fable: Edge of the World very unenjoyable. Considering Fable is an adventure game that revolves around choice and this book takes very little of what you have done before into consideration, I can’t recommend this at all. Maybe next time they should do a ‘choose your own adventure’ book? Do yourselves a favor, steer clear, and make the choice that when this book hits your local bookstores today to not pick it up.
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