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Publisher's Summary

Fueled by Tolkien's sweat, Willy Wonka's blood, and Clint Eastwood's attitude.

Higslaff the Pawnshop Owner needs a job done, but the Guild War has taken a toll. Those he’d normally call upon are engaged in some other vital assignment, or dead. 

He decides to hire Gurk, Jax, Marigold, Lysine, and Kalgore instead. The adventuring party has proven themselves resourceful and effective on previous jobs, not only for himself, but for the local silversmith, and the Church of Apollo. This particular assignment shouldn’t be a problem. 

What Higslaff doesn’t know is that details of his job have been compromised. Agents of the Riven Rock Thieves’ Guild are on the move, ready to wrest control of the enchanted item that could tip the balance in the Guild War. 

©2020 Terry W. Ervin II (P)2021 Gryphonwood Press

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Profile Image for James Mace
  • James Mace
  • 20-07-2021

Once Again, Ervin and Waters Fail to Disappoint!

In this fifth installment of Monsters, Maces, and Magic, we get a change of perspective, as the point-of-view is no longer on Glenn / Jax and the party of adventurers, but on Higslaff, a pawnshop owner they've dealt with in the past. Higslaff is a member of the Three Hills City Thieves Guild, who are in an escalating war with the guild in Riven Rock. However, while it is the party that goes on the quest to retrieve a special wand for the guild, the perspective is mostly told from Higslaff's humunculus (a sort of familiar, resembling a small demon) named Snix. I personally enjoy these changes in perspective, similar to Book 3, 'Guild'. This allows for more world building, while also making the non-player characters (NPCs) seem more human and 'real', rather than simply props in a game setting. I also like that we are slowly introduced to a couple more Player Characters from the 'real world', none of whom are aware of the existence of other PCs, outside their own party.

Pawn takes a decidedly darker tone almost from the get-go, when a female member of the Three Hills Thieves Guild (who happens to be a PC that's lived in this world for a decade and is the only member of her former party remaining) meets a rather painful and ghastly fate. The tone of the rest of the story reverts to its usual form of adventure and humour, with decent amounts of tension and a gradual building of the Guild War between Three Hills and Riven Rock, which had previously been just one of many background events in previous books. The introduction of a rather sinister magic user, whose name I cannot even begin to pronounce or spell, comes as a very late addition, almost at the very end of the story. I found him very intriguing, not to mention disturbing. The ending itself becomes rather dark and foreboding. This actually worked well, as it left me wanting more.

My only 'complaint', if you will, is that this story is only 214 pages in print, and just over five hours as an audiobook; barely half the length of the previous book, 'Fairyed'. It is a credit to Ervin's writing and Waters' narration that I am always sad to be finished with each book in this series, as I want the story to keep going! I'm looking forward to the next book, 'Date', which I know is a very short, I'm guessing stand-alone story, and hope Terry Ervin brings us more from this world in the near future! As always, Jonathan Waters does a cracking job of narration. His range is very broad, able to lend a distinct voice to numerous characters of varying race, age, and gender. The voice he gives the sinister magic user towards the end is alone worth giving this story a listen.

1 person found this helpful

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  • Tammy B Oakley
  • 20-07-2021

I loved it!💜

Things are getting serious for these adventurers. Magic, mystery and mayhem everywhere. I loved this new adventure and the introduction to some new characters. The narration once again was absolutely wonderful. Jon Waters’ performance is brilliant. I’m especially found of Marigold’s character. This is book 5 and is continued. I recommend this book/series.

Sisters Spotlight 💜

1 person found this helpful

  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars
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  • Georgia McNabb
  • 22-10-2021

Was Ok but nowhere near as Fun as 1st 4 Books.

actually was sort of disappointed with this storyline. The other ones had a lot more depth and excitement. Narrator does a good job with the storyline. I will listen to the next in the Series to find out what happens and if the Story level goods back to the level of the other books

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