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Guild Wars : Ghosts of Ascalon
Format: Mass Market Paperback|Change
Price:$8.09+ Free shipping with Amazon Prime

on November 22, 2016
I have read all of three of the Guild Wars books to date (2016) and Ghosts of Ascalon is by far my favorite and in my opinion it has the best story and writing. I really cared about these characters and their quest. I still think of these things when I visit certain parts of the game.

There are lore elements that interweave with the two Guild Wars games though no so much that someone who has not played the games would be lost. Some of the elements are as broad as the different races or as fine as the king Adelbern's character portrayal. Naturally these things are explained in the book.

Do not let unfamiliarity keep you away from this great story even if you have not you have not played the game or know the 'world' of Tyria. Also, the site has many images, lore and explanation to supplement the content if you want further resources. For example you can see Kralkatorrik concept art pieces or see the difference between an Asura and Norn.

Happy reading!
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on December 1, 2010
First off, the story was nothing like I thought it was going to be. I was expecting a huge epic conflict around the ruins of the long disowned Human capitol of Ascalon, but what I got was a very entertaining tale of a small band of adventurers and their journey to forget past hatreds in the light of an omnipotent threat that hold the world in fear.

The overall formula is nothing new, but it is told in a very entertaining and exciting way with some very likable characters. As a long time Guild Wars fan, I am very happy to see the tale expanded. I highly recommend this book to any GW fan and to any fan of adventure fantasy!
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on September 22, 2017
As a diehard Guild Wars lore fan I was skeptical of this book. I ended up reading it while waiting for guild Wars 2: Path of Fire to come out (2017, years after this book was released) and I have to say I really enjoyed it. Remembering back to places and things I discovered in game that were featured here was a wonderful treat.
And lore fans will absolutely love this piece. It definitely holds up against the test of time. Well written and paced.
I only have one negative point, often the characters can get expository in describing past events. However, it is done tastefully and in character and shows the reader the prejudices that have developed over 250 years.
Overall, I would definitely recommend this book to anyone, Guild Wars player or not.
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on August 30, 2010
This book was a great adventure into the mysterious territory of not-yet-released Guild Wars 2 online game. I enjoyed reading it. I am a Guild Wars 1 game fan. The story helped acquaint the reader to the situation of the future Guild Wars (particularly Ascalon, but also other areas) in a engaging and enlightening way.

The writing was fun to read, but mediocre in places. There were a couple plot inconsistencies, possibly from re-writes in one part that left a related part skewed. Twice there were references later in the story remembering how the party had teleported via Asura gate from Destiny's Reach to EbonHawke, when actually they teleported from Lion's Arch to EbonHawke.

About Guild Wars 2 vs. this book: One of the main characters in the party was a blatant Necromancer, a profession only recently revealed (after I read the book) as a profession that will be available for Guild Wars 2 players. There were obvious elementalists and warriors. They never did tell what the profession of the main character was. He was like a theif, but I don't think that is a GW2 profession. He was good at getting past locks and traps. He favored a sword as a weapon but was only mediocre with it. It makes me wonder if he represents a new profession in GW2 that we don't know about yet. The books also had me wondering how much this matched what would be in the game. Would I be able to climb ropes, pick locks, travel sewers, summon rats, use flame throwers, etc like in the story?
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on July 14, 2014
As the first novelization into the Guild Wars universe, it features a quick and dirty description/history of the overworld, races and other elements of the game it is based on, though effective, some new to the world may crave more detail. As a player of the game, I found the provided descriptions wonderful and accurate.

The narrative is a worthy fantasy adventure and utilities the 'to hell and back' theme and focuses more on characters and their developments than others in the genre. I would consider the main character similar to "Dante", as he and the story share traits from the "Inferno". The book may tarry in humor, but that is made up for with shockingly dark engagements and in many ways showcases the story as a tragedy.

If you enjoy this genre, it is a fruitful read and a proper capture of the Guild Wars universe.
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on January 7, 2011
By now, most of us should be well acquainted with the framework of Joseph Campbell's Hero's Journey or monomyth theory or whatever it was called (because I really don't remember right now, and I probably wasn't paying too much attention in class). You know, hero gets called; hero refuses call; hero winds up going anyway; hero enters into innermost cave; stuff happens; hero dies; hero resurrects; hero returns... Wait a second...

And therein lies the major part of my beef with this book. It seems like the deadline came about or something, and the author got to a certain point and decided not to write any more of the story FOR NO GOOD REASON AT ALL. Maybe he thought he was being artistic? Whatever the reason, all I know is that when I was finished, I turned the book over, and said aloud, "where the heck is the rest of my story?" Forbeck? Grubb? What happened, guys? Where's the rest of my story, man?

Anyway, about the story itself. We find ourselves following a brief portion of the life of one Dougal Keane as he's sent into an inhospitable situation to recover a McGuffin alongside a ragtag group of weirdos. And, thank heavens Keane is likable, because so many of the folks he's saddled with are not. I can safely say that throughout the entire book, there were only two other characters I WASN'T hoping would get killed in some horrible manner -- and imagine my dismay when one of them actually was. I'm just gonna throw this out there, but the love interest (if it's even safe to call it that) was an insufferable she-wolf for the entire book! That glacier doesn't melt, fellows.

There's enough action to keep you riveted, and I found the scene setups to be particularly well-done with vivid descriptions of areas and their inhabitants that were short, sweet, but not lacking in depth. Some of the mechanics shone through, but it's based on a game -- what would you expect? I found it interesting that part of the Guild Wars mythology was turned on its ear -- as someone we previously thought was level-headed actually proved to be quite insane... Scratch that, thinking about it now, he was already nuts, but the chronicle of his descent into further madness proved interesting anyway.

For all the problems I seem to have with the book, It's still a great read. It's like Indiana Jones... Except, imagine that Indy's at that ancient pedestal and about ready to swap the statues. He makes the swap -- and the movie ends right there! It's just like that.
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on August 16, 2012
It does what it says on the tin, with some pretty good story and character interaction. This book stands alone from being a "Guild Wars" book - I believe you'd enjoy it whether you like the source fiction or not.

I'm not normally a fan of genre-splits; sometimes it works well (the first Tomb Raider movie) and sometimes it doesn't work at all (Max Payne, please step forward). A lot of it seems to depend on writing, and by grabbing people like Jeff Grubb to come along for the ride on this one you've got yourself a story.

Sure, there are criticisms. The romance threads in here could be better. I'm not sure if we're supposed to think the main character (a human) is falling for a Sylvari, or if he just really likes her. The villains might be a bit transparent - the Asura especially - but overall they get the job done.

Where I think the authors do a great job is in the storming, forming, norming, performing cycle of the group on their quest. It's clear they're not built to get along, with racial tensions and long standing feuds. How they overcome that is very well done in my view, not heavy-handed, and it's entirely believable who's left standing at the end and why they supported each other.
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on January 20, 2015
After being captivated by the story of Guild Wars 2, I decided that I needed to read the books. I started with this one, because I heard it was the first one published. I'm not actually one to read books very often, so I wasn't sure if I'd really like it. This book sparked in me a love of reading. I finished it in a weekend and went on to read the other two.

It should be worth noting that the 3 books were published in reverse-chronological order. Ghosts of Ascalon was the first published, but last to happen chronologically. Regardless, the stories are self-contained, so it doesn't matter what order they are read in.
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on August 13, 2016
This book is a very easy to read fairly by the books dungeon crawler tale. Band of characters all with different warrior occupations band together to go into some old ruins and so on and so forth. But in its simplicity the book finds its strength. Its a great quick read and a lot of fun. It doesnt try too hard to be something more than it is. But its also of a high enough quality to make up for its ease of reading.
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on June 5, 2012
I found this book interesting. It did a nice job of showing off the newer world and helped set the stage for Guild Wars 2. It featured a lot of information and back fill, some chapters where heavier than others, but it didn't seem to unload it too quick either. It shows many aspects of the world, several of which have changed noticeably from the first game. There were even some references to characters from Guild Wars 1, usually to show what they did after the game's story ended. The story itself was good and would have been worth reading even if it weren't set in Guild Wars. The characters featured a nice range of personalities and gave the reader a good feel for the different racial backgrounds of the 5 playable races in Guild Wars 2. The only thing that could have improved the story would be an epilog to better sum up the results of the ending. It is hard to explain why without spoiling the plot.

I'd say this book is a must buy for any Guild Wars player who enjoys Fantasy Books. If you enjoy Fantasy books and don't play Guild Wars, you'll probably enjoy it as well.
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