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Keep on the Borderlands [Mass Market Paperback]

Ru Emerson
2.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (8 customer reviews)

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Book Description

Nov. 1 2001 Greyhawk
Keep on the Borderlands was one of the very ?rst D&D(r) adventures, so seasoned gamers remember this product from their early days, and newer gamers will recognize it from the 25th anniversary rerelease.

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Autumn came late to the southern borderlands of the realm. Read the first page
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Customer Reviews

Most helpful customer reviews
Format:Mass Market Paperback
I found that this book was better than Ru Emerson's first Grayhawk book, Against the Giants, but had some of the same problems. While the characters are more fleshed out in this book, and the pace is a little more subdued (there are actually are some down times), I still found the overall plot to be thin and weak. Two groups of caravan guards meet up at an old Keep in the hinterlands and decide to team up and go after some bandits that are terrorizing the Keep. Why? Well, for treasure of course! For glory! Because they are bored with being caravan guards! Those are at least three of the reasons given. So off they go, bumbling around until they actually find and destroy the bandit camp.
Next the Castellan wants them to go off into the wilds and defeat a bunch of monsters living in some caves. So off they go! Why? See above. While the characters do have some depth and interact with each other in a believable manner, the plot tends to be thin because the reasons for these adventures are thin. The best parts of this book concern the swordswoman Eddis and the little girl first known to us as simply Blot. There are some truly touching moments when Eddis realizes what she gave up for the adventuring life (family, kids) and whether or not it was a good choice for her. She also realizes that she actually likes kids and maybe would like to raise this little girl. The worst parts of the book occur anytime Jers appears, which is unfortunately a lot, since he is a main character. Jers is a cardboard alpha male, consisting of so many testosterone-laden stereotypes that it is hard to imagine that he can walk around, much less fight. He is impulsive. He has little thought for his life or anyone else's. He seeks after glory and treasure. He has no social skills whatsoever.
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3.0 out of 5 stars A so-so book based on the adventure June 17 2002
By snowy
Format:Mass Market Paperback
Reading Keep on the Borderlands appeared to be like going through a rather impersonal memoirs of "How I tamed the Borderlands", written by Eddis and Blorys, mercenaries inc.
Eddis and Blorys came from 2 different armed escort companies protecting convoys into the Keep at Borderlands. As a reward for their thwarting attempted raids, the castellan tasked them with hunting down bandits and what-nots that threatened the security of the region.
This novel is obviously not about high-level adventurers, which was fine in itself 'cos I get bored with high-level fancy stuff like Elminster casting a spell to detect all but the most powerful enemies from the safety of his lair. Eddis and Blorys had to get down and dirty, going through hostile wilderness to search out the lairs of the raiders, and wipe them out.
But the boring part was that for most of the book, they did not encounter anything that posed serious threats, and they could go on fight after fight against superior numbers.
There was a little attempt made to characterisation and PC interaction, but the basic simplicity of the plot (to rid the raiders) sort of made it rather unexciting.
What could have made the book much better was instead of finishing abruptly, an analysis of the impact of the clean-up on the Borderlands to be presented.
On the whole, fine for beginners, yawners for others.
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3.0 out of 5 stars Adventure Game in novel form Jan. 17 2002
Format:Mass Market Paperback
Swordswoman Eddis has just finished a job as a caravan job and is looking for a little relaxation when a new opportunity opens. Bandits have been raiding the local town, cutting off its trade routes and threatening its destruction. Together with adventurer Jerdren and a group of caravan guards and town armsmen, Eddis sets off on an adventure. What starts out as a simple raid on a bandit camp escalates to a full-scale cave invasion against kobolds, orcs, and the undead.
Author Ru Emerson keeps up a steady flow of adventure and conflict. In keeping with the Greyhawk series, the book frequently feels more like a role-playing game rather than a novel--with our heros entering a possibly infested cave, facing enemy guards, and pocketing some random treasure.
Fans of role-playing games may enjoy this novelization of what feels like a real game. Emerson works hard to add character depth to Eddis, with her semi-adoption of a young child as a major element in this. Fans of pure fantasy are likely to find that KEEP ON THE BORDERLAND lacks the stakes that make the novel compelling reading.
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2.0 out of 5 stars Reads Like a Role-Playing Game Nov. 21 2001
Format:Mass Market Paperback
Two Important Notes: 1) I am not a role-playing enthusiast; 2) This book is based on one of the original Dungeons & Dragons role-playing adventures.
This is a short summary of the book: A pair of adventuring brothers teams up with a hard-nosed "Xena" type woman to clear the forest around a mountain citadel from bandits and monsters. That's not the set-up of the story, that's the whole thing.
This is the first book of Ru Emerson's that I have read. Her writing style and dialogue seems to bounce between contemporary and Tolkein-esque.
But the main drawback is that the plot is lifted directly from one of the earliest D&D games, and it shows. There really is no plot, just a series of episodes with some battle scenes serving absolutely no dramatic purpose, and there is at least one character that is introduced in the last 50 pages that had no purpose other than to make the heros look more noble.
All in all, I appreciate the attempt to revisit these older adventures in the "Greyhawk Classics" line novels, but next time they should choose an adventure worth revisiting. Sometimes there are reasons why those games aren't played anymore.
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