So after a short break, it’s now time to stop messing around with Sorcery and eating hobbits and get back to the chronology of Fighting Fantasy by following on from House of Hell with Talisman of Death.
This copy of the book came from eBay a little while ago just before I opted for Creature of Havoc, so I have been sitting on it for some time now. My previous encounter with non-Livingstone & Jackson penned Fighting Fantasy was Scorpion Swamp, which you might say I wasn’t all that keen on. Talisman of Death was co-written by Jamie Thomson and Mark Smith who you are probably aware of through the Way of the Tiger series of gamebooks.
I was a big fan of those back in the day too and as I’ve mentioned before, at the time I never actually realised that Fighting Fantasy had a variety of writers, so knowing there was a cross-over of talents between two series I read is very cool. Plenty of love still around for the series too as the recently successful Kickstarter project to create collectors editions of the books testifies. Similar to Fighting Fantasy, a few computer games were spawned from the books, one of which I do remember playing at a friends house on his Commodore 64, a ludicrously exciting thing to an 8 year old who hasn’t got access to many games on his Amstrad 6128. I seem to remember punching knives out of the air, I thought it was amazing… we were more easily pleased back then. He also had the books though and that was my introduction to Way of the Tiger, Teenage Mutant Hero/Ninja Turtles were all the rage at the time, so I lapped up anything like this.
Not only do we see a cross-over of talents though, Talisman of Death exists in the same setting as the Way of the Tiger series, the fantasy world of Orb along with a few overlapping characters and illustrator Bob Harvey. Beyond that though, this is another title I really remember nothing about, which is why I’m mostly discussing another book series entirely! I can’t even remember what the title means… is it a talisman that ‘does’ death, or is it a talisman that just happens to belong to Death? I for one am excited to find out. Feedback in the Reviews Archive is generally pretty positive though, so I think combined with the writers pedigree, I should be safe with this one. Just so long as it isn’t as tough as Creature of Havoc anyway, that’s all I’m really asking right now!