08 April 2021
Journeying into Descent: Journeys in the Dark
The Doom of Fallowhearth sees us descend into the world of Descent: Journeys in the Dark. It’s a well-timed book considering Descent: Legends of the Dark is due in August 2021, and spins the tale of the disappearance of Baroness of Forthyns daughter, Kathryn. The prologue immediately shares what happened really to her, and it’s a darker tale than the political kidnapping the quest-givers suggest. To find her, The Borderland Four (though only three) are recruited, who are pretty much Mystery Inc several years after their glory days.
Of the Aconyte books released, this is arguably the weakest so far. Whereby the others have been exciting, this feels a little more lip service. Ulma is a sassy alchemist, Durik a kind Orc, Logan a retired Rogue, and whilst these sound like they'll offer brilliant relief from the main plot, they feel like they never meet their potential. Much of the narrative follows Logan, and whilst we embrace flawed characters as being often more engaging, instead he remains rather shallow as a protagonist, leaving little to endear you to him. Side characters are mostly limited to a single purpose, and push a single point of view only, there’s no complexity. Most questions you raise are resolved quickly, and then ultimately the ending feels a little like a cop out.
Having said that – and, noted, that’s a lot – the book isn’t so bad I’d say not to read it. Part of the reason this didn’t hit the mark is because it’s siblings in the range went above and beyond it. This does the job, it creates a world within Descent: Journeys in the Dark, it pulls characters people want to see, it utilises the world that it’s made, filling it with magic and darkness (and spiders), and hyper fans of the series will enjoy being able to engulf themselves in it in a different way. It’s a comfortable read, if not one that’ll inspire or excite you.
Author: Robbie Macniven
Publisher: Aconyte Books
This feature originally appeared in Issue 54 of Tabletop Gaming. Pick up the latest issue of the UK's fastest-growing gaming magazine in print or digital here or subscribe to make sure you never miss another issue.
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