Fable: Edge of the World

Christie Golden has written quite a few novels in her career. In that time she has covered vampire stories in the Forgotten Realms, space opera in franchises like Star Wars and Star Trek, touching intellectual fantasy stories like her original novel Instrument of Fate, and game tie-ins for StarCraft and World of Warcraft. Fable: Edge of the World is yet another addition to her game tie-in work, however this one digs in a little deeper than normal and gives the reader a lot to chew on.

Edge of the World serves as a prequel to the upcoming Xbox 360 game Fable: The Journey. Now I’ve played the previous Fable video games, and it’s a franchise I’ve always enjoyed. One of the things that made the game stand out was the freedom of choice. Players could choose to be good heroes or bad. In the realm of Fable, heroes are not always the good guys, they’re simply skilled people of great renown.

In Edge of the World, Christie follows the king of Albion as he’s forced to travel to Samarkand to fight an old enemy of great evil. He takes with him a young man named Shan who knows the terrain, a sharpshooter named Benjamin Finn, and Kalin, the leader of Aurora. Together they face the perils of a harsh desert, fierce hollow men, and unexpected foes under the sway of the darkness. In order to succeed, the king will need to enlist the help of a mystical guardian and an old hero turned warrior-monk. Yet the evil queen they’re up against is no easy foe.

The story also follows the king’s newly wedded wife, Laylah, the current queen of Albion. She’s left in charge of the kingdom with two of the king’s trusted advisers: Page and Timmons. Page is a warrior and one of Laylah’s friends. Timmon’s is a rough-around-the-edges soldier who is loyal to the king. It’s up to them to protect the empire while the king is off fighting the dark forces in Samarkand. Yet there is a wildcard that comes into play that causes a lot of interesting story developments. What if the king’s loyal advisers aren’t so loyal? Can the queen handle the challenge?

As a fan of the games, I really loved how Christie was able to incorporate the game elements without it seeming forced. She seamlessly brings in the idea of heroes and their importance in the world. The concept of Will being a magical ability is used very effectively. Plus the classic villains, hobbes, hollow men, and balverines, all fit in nicely. None of it reads like a video game novel. Instead it comes off like a true fantasy tale with fun characters and an engaging story.

Overall, Edge of the World is about as good as a Fable novel can get. It includes the best parts of the games and skillfully weaves them into a fantasy story. The characters have a good amount of depth. They don’t always make the best decisions and there are plenty of moments where the story plunges inside their heads or is carried away by their personalities. On top of that, the cast comes off as believable. Sometimes an author can get too carried away with the story leaving the reader with one dimensional, shallow characters. Thankfully that isn’t the case here. There’s also some pretty good dialog. Ben happened to be one of my favorites as he is a mix of warrior, braggart, and flirt, but the mixed cast gives a lot for readers to choose from.

Through the progression of the story, there is a steady stream of variety that keeps it fresh. The build up toward the climax packs in some surprises, and the ending is unexpected. All in all it kept me entertained and left me hoping that Christie will get to write another story for the franchise. If you’re a fan of Fable, this is a book worth reading. It’s a lot of fun and it makes for a good spin on the fantasy genre. If you’ve never played a Fable game, then fear not because Christie does an excellent job of covering everything you need to know before she charges off into unexplored territory.

Having read a decent variety of fantasy novels, I thought Edge of the World stood out enough to be worth recommending. If you’re already burnt out on fantasy, then there probably isn’t much hope for you, but if you still enjoy the genre, Edge of the World is worth your time. I give it a five out of five metal bikinis.

Reviewed By: Skuldren for Roqoo Depot.

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  1. […] Christie Golden’s Fable: Edge of the World came out recently, and amidst the chaos of Star Wars Celebration VI, I managed to consume the novel with a healthy appetite. This was a real fun novel and I loved what Christie was able to pull off with it. Click here to read our full review. […]

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