The Priest and the Claw by Ivailo Daskalov
Warning! Review may contain spoilers!
It’s time to be pack the crucifix and go all righteous again, for today I am a priest of the light! I like to heal the sick and needy, exorcise daemons, restore sanity and attract girls with my sexy cassock. Really?? Apparently so, says our author.
15 years fly by in 10 short paragraphs, and pretty soon I am head of the monastery. This part of the book is actually quite good – you entertain a few visitors, some welcome, and not, and based on your decisions you burn up favour and gain or lose respect. While fairly linear, I enjoyed being abbot and keeping the inhabitants merry, sane and less dead. There is also an intriguing plotline involving lupines, witches and the destruction of their forest.
“I like your way of thinking. Certainly, both parties have their points but at the end of the day, there is a pile of corpses. It is the duty of the Church of Light to do its best to prevent it from going on.”
Sadly, this does not last. Just as it begins to warm up, the werewolf plot is abandoned mid-stride and then it descends it to a familiar, slay the evil generic daemon in the dungeon affair. You descend into your own dungeons, meeting goblins, cauldrons and even dragons. How did they get down there?
The text contains several errors, and there are even a couple of missing paragraphs. I think the author is a non-native english speaker, and the prose unintentionally slips between 2nd, 1st and 3rd person. Despite the awkward english, Ivailo has created a detailed and well-realised world. I enjoyed the detail of the church of light and its orders, and I began to overlook the errors and began to enjoy some nice sentences and the characters. Unfortunately, after a promising and interesting start, this gamebook exorcises itself and becomes dull and lifeless because of it.