About the Author:
James Lowder has worked as a reviewer for Filmfax, Midnight Graffiti and Polyhedron, as well as a book editor for TSR Inc.
AVERAGE REVIEW SCORE:
4 out of 5
Ravenloft: Knight Of The Black Rose
This novel tells how the undead knight Lord Soth, from the Dragonlance umbrella series, enters the somewhat similar world of the Ravenloft umbrella series. Whereas Dragonlance is a classical fantasy setting, Ravenloft is a much more gothic sort of fantasy.
The early part of the book tells Soth's history (which is very Darth Vader-esque) and how he follows the spirit of his beloved Kitiara on a mystical path that leads him to Barovia, barony of the vampire lord Strahd Von Zarovich. Soth and Strahd act as perfect counterpoints to one another; the former the embodiment of physical power, the latter controlling more subtle power. It is the matching of wits and abilities between the Death Knight and the vampire that make this book worth reading.
I also enjoyed the Ravenloft setting; with its vampires, ghosts and werebeasts, it's almost a horror novel. Then there's the dwarf, who's actually a werebadger. Now that's something you don't see every day.
The ending of the book is slightly frustrating, but entirely fitting given Soth's character. All in all an enjoyable read.
4 out of 5