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City of Thieves

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Terror stalks the night as Zanbar Bone and his bloodthirsty Moon Dogs hold the prosperous town of Silverton to ransom. YOU are an adventurer and the merchants of Silverton turn to you in their hour of need. Your mission takes you along dark, twisting streets where thieves, vagabonds and creatures of the night lie in wait to trap the unwary traveller. Beyond lies the most fe Terror stalks the night as Zanbar Bone and his bloodthirsty Moon Dogs hold the prosperous town of Silverton to ransom. YOU are an adventurer and the merchants of Silverton turn to you in their hour of need. Your mission takes you along dark, twisting streets where thieves, vagabonds and creatures of the night lie in wait to trap the unwary traveller. Beyond lies the most fearsome adventure of them all – the tower stronghold of the infamous Zanbar Bone! Part-story, part-game, this is a book with a difference – one in which YOU become the hero! A pencil and an eraser are all you need to make your journey. YOU decide which route to take, which creatures to fight and which dangers to risk.


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Terror stalks the night as Zanbar Bone and his bloodthirsty Moon Dogs hold the prosperous town of Silverton to ransom. YOU are an adventurer and the merchants of Silverton turn to you in their hour of need. Your mission takes you along dark, twisting streets where thieves, vagabonds and creatures of the night lie in wait to trap the unwary traveller. Beyond lies the most fe Terror stalks the night as Zanbar Bone and his bloodthirsty Moon Dogs hold the prosperous town of Silverton to ransom. YOU are an adventurer and the merchants of Silverton turn to you in their hour of need. Your mission takes you along dark, twisting streets where thieves, vagabonds and creatures of the night lie in wait to trap the unwary traveller. Beyond lies the most fearsome adventure of them all – the tower stronghold of the infamous Zanbar Bone! Part-story, part-game, this is a book with a difference – one in which YOU become the hero! A pencil and an eraser are all you need to make your journey. YOU decide which route to take, which creatures to fight and which dangers to risk.

30 review for City of Thieves

  1. 4 out of 5

    Leo .

    I played these game books as a kid. Brilliant! These books helped my imagination grow. Three wizards. A dark one. A good one. A neutral one. Which will you pick to aid you on your quest? The City Of Thieves is one of my favourites. Deathtrap Dungeon too. What great films these books would make. Come on Peter Jackson these books were made for you. And while your at it let's make my book into a film too... I already know some of the actors who will star in my film adaption of my book. Ha! Ha! He! He! T I played these game books as a kid. Brilliant! These books helped my imagination grow. Three wizards. A dark one. A good one. A neutral one. Which will you pick to aid you on your quest? The City Of Thieves is one of my favourites. Deathtrap Dungeon too. What great films these books would make. Come on Peter Jackson these books were made for you. And while your at it let's make my book into a film too... I already know some of the actors who will star in my film adaption of my book. Ha! Ha! He! He! Tom hardy what a great actor he is In this world of films and showbiz An author too, no end to his talents, it would seem Will Tom, play the Character Rockwood? From my book...one can only dream Maybe one day it could be a film, a box office hit If Tom Hardy, Cillian Murphy, and Benedict Cumberbach was in it And Peter Jackson added it to his fantasy CV. Oh! Man that would make Leo very happy 🐯👍 How much fun, Fighting Fantasy, the books that play A quest, you are the character, you choose which way The door to the left? The door to the right? You choose Or the one in the middle, holding the clues Raise one's skill level, defeat a foe But diminish one's stamina, scoring gets low A healing potion, a magic spell, now one is restored Ready for the Orc, the Troll, the Barbarian's Sword A labyrinth, a dungeon, a forest of Elves A Wizard, a treehouse, a parchment, and stacked high shelves A ship in a harbour, a City of Thieves, a Warlock and a mountain A Citedel of Chaos, a Forest of Doom, a portal, a fountain A mutant in a cave, a half man and half bull A suit of magical chainmail, and a scary horned skull A Snow Witch, a Yeti, another quest, another mission An Orc frozen in ice, peril and attrition A House of Hell, spooky, which door to choose The cellar, the side door, is it all a ruse? These books, these RPG's, took up most of my youth And I still love them now, decades later, now I am long in the tooth.👍🐯

  2. 4 out of 5

    Gianfranco Mancini

    Best Fighting Fantasy gamebook by Ian Livingstone. Loved the atmosphere of Port Blacksand, the twists and the storyline, a thrilling rogue style adventure that gave me hours of fun and a death count of 15 just because I tried to end it without cheating.

  3. 5 out of 5

    Veljko

    This one is really driving me nuts. I have played it on the Kindle - and, after easily getting through most of the story, I am getting stomped by some fights at the end of the book that just seem to require a lot of luck to get through. I have a suspicion that skill scores are off in the kindle version. I know in the paperbook version 'skill' was capped at 12. It is capped at 11 on the kindle. Even if you get items to help, towards the end of the book you have to engage in some fights were, even This one is really driving me nuts. I have played it on the Kindle - and, after easily getting through most of the story, I am getting stomped by some fights at the end of the book that just seem to require a lot of luck to get through. I have a suspicion that skill scores are off in the kindle version. I know in the paperbook version 'skill' was capped at 12. It is capped at 11 on the kindle. Even if you get items to help, towards the end of the book you have to engage in some fights were, even under the best scenario, odds are stacked against you. It's frustrating, having to rely on sheer luck. Said so, the gamebook is pretty interesting. A different setting - this volume takes place in a town, which is a welcome change from the dungeon-crawling of the early FF books. And some surprising turns and twists. For the most part, it's fun searching for the items you need. For the most part... But the ending sections of the book are just an exercise in frustration, relying on sheer luck.

  4. 5 out of 5

    Paul Christensen

    ‘City of tea leaves’ is quite the cesspit. Twisted little streets called ‘Clock’ and ‘Key’, Lead one eventually to the garden of Leaf Beasts, Whose honesty box is somewhat out-of-key With the penny-pinching denizens of its surroundings, Like Fatnose and Sourbelly (two sallow trolls), Or the various vagabonds who give you a pounding, Or the two eerie crones still playing at dolls.

  5. 4 out of 5

    Arial Burnz

    OMG I LOVED THESE BOOKS!! Jeez! I devoured these when I was in high school. I loved D&D, but didn't have a group to play with, so these were the next best thing. LOVE choose your own adventure. I think I'll need to write some of these one day.

  6. 4 out of 5

    David Sarkies

    Time to teach a big bully a lesson 19 July 2012 The fifth book in the series and from what I remember, one of the better ones. To me it seems that the books Forest of Doom, City of Thieves, Deathtrap Dungeon, and Island of the Lizard King were, to me, the more memorable books in the series. The first one was obviously experimental, as was Starship Traveller and Citadel of Chaos, but it feels that with the books that I have got to now, the writers had settled down on a style that seemed to work. H Time to teach a big bully a lesson 19 July 2012 The fifth book in the series and from what I remember, one of the better ones. To me it seems that the books Forest of Doom, City of Thieves, Deathtrap Dungeon, and Island of the Lizard King were, to me, the more memorable books in the series. The first one was obviously experimental, as was Starship Traveller and Citadel of Chaos, but it feels that with the books that I have got to now, the writers had settled down on a style that seemed to work. However the ones that came after I have little memory (with the exception of Scorpion Swamp). In this book you are a seasoned adventurer who has arrived in a small town that is being bullied by an evil undead warlock named Zanzar Bone. You are approached by the mayor and asked to go and find a friend of his who lives in the city of Port Blacksand, the city of thieves that the title of the book derives its name. However, there is a little twist because when you do find Nicodemus, he simply tells you that he is too old to go off adventuring so he tells you how to kill Zanzar Bone and sends you on your way. While the majority of the book is set in Port Blacksand, it moves away from the other books slightly in that the end game begins once you have left Port Blacksand. Zanzar Bone does not live in the city, nor is he the ruler of the city, rather your adventure in the city is simply one of locating somebody, who then tells you what you need to search for to be able to defeat your enemy. It is actually a reasonably easy book, and while they talk about a one true path, it is quite easy to find it. However, there are a number of other objects that you need to collect (such as the Skeleton Key) which will make your quest significantly easier. The one item I could not find (though I suspect that it is located somewhere near the start) is the merchant's pass. One could suggest that this is another assassination job, though it is clear that Bone is a bully and needs to be taught a lesson, and of course you are the one who has to teach him a lesson. One of the interesting things is that these books tend to be very black and white, particularly with the fantasy ones. In a lot of fantasy novels I note that the settings are generally black and whiteL the good hero goes out to fight and kill the evil villain. I guess it is reflective of our desire to see and compartmentalise the world into black and white as opposed to the shade of grey that exists in. I guess it is also something pushed down upon us from above, so that we will always see our country as being the white, and anything opposed to our country as black. Unfortunately it is not necessarily the case because there are instances where an immoral government uses this concept to bring the population on side. I want to finish off with something about undead. In many novels the undead are always protrayed as evil. I suspect that this may have something to do with our Christian heritage, as the Bible clearly puts necromancy into the realm of evil. That may be the case, but what about the idea of animating corpses? Is that necessarily evil, and is animating a corpse generally evil? Personally I think it comes down to our attitudes towards the dead. To a culture that sees a corpse as nothing more than a diseased shell to be destroyed, with the spirit being disconnected from it, then maybe it is not. However to a culture like ours that, while believing that the soul breaks away from the corpse, our treatment of the corpse reflects our attitudes towards that person in life. The Greeks would defile or respect corpses depending on where they wanted the dead to land up. A defiled corpse (for an example see Antigone) would wonder around the Earth as a half-man for eternity, while a properly disposed of corpse would return either to Hades, or any other realm that the deceased achieved in life. Personally, it really comes down to culture, and what the culture does with the corpse really is what that culture believes. I question the right that we have to insist that an alien culture treat a corpse as we expect it to be treated.

  7. 4 out of 5

    Michael

    This simply represents the pinnacle of the choose-your-own-adventure genre. It doesn’t get any better. The structure, creativity, humor, and dramatic tension are perfect. Moreover, this is one of the few that really succeeds as a puzzle to be solved. The puzzle aspect is interesting enough to hold the interest of adults (my mother borrowed it for about a week in the 80s, until she had solved it) as well as the younger target audience. The “Fighting Fantasy Gamebook” series were all very good, bu This simply represents the pinnacle of the choose-your-own-adventure genre. It doesn’t get any better. The structure, creativity, humor, and dramatic tension are perfect. Moreover, this is one of the few that really succeeds as a puzzle to be solved. The puzzle aspect is interesting enough to hold the interest of adults (my mother borrowed it for about a week in the 80s, until she had solved it) as well as the younger target audience. The “Fighting Fantasy Gamebook” series were all very good, but this was the best of them. In them, you roleplay an experienced warrior who has to solve a quest of some kind. This distinguished the series from the “Endless Quest” series of TSR, because (except for the first one) in that series you always had to roleplay a kid on their first serious outing, which, for me, defeats the purpose of roleplay, because you presumably were a kid reading the book alreadu, so you weren’t imagining yourself as someone else. In “City of Thieves,” your mission is to find the necessary materials to defeat an evil sorcerer who is terrorizing a town. In order to do this, however, you must navigate the dreaded Port Blacksand, a place in which humans and demi-humans thrive on crime, piracy and exploitation. There are several paths through Port Blacksand, and as you play and re-play the book, you will meet many charming and bizarre creatures, some of which will help you, others annoy, and many attack you either frontally or with stealth. One of the things I want to mention is the artwork of Iain McCraig, which to me is perfect for this story; it is fantastical, whimsical, and just a bit dark, with many delightful details for the attentive viewer to pick up. I especially like the illustration of the gate of Port Blacksand near the beginning, and the wonderful image of the Goblin-like Bays playing Bays’ Ball at entry 40. The entire book is delightful in the same sense as that image, and it’s a great find for anyone who enjoys fantasy, roleplaying, or solving puzzles.

  8. 5 out of 5

    Michael Kelly

    A superb gamebook. Port Blacksand, the titular city of thieves, is a fascinating place for exploration and skullduggery. It comes across as a well-developed, coherent environment, quite amazing for such an early entrant into the series. It is so well developed and ceaselessly entertaining that it shames those that came before and most of those that came after. This is one of the few Fighting Fantasy books where it's quite easy to find everything you need for a successful completion as long as you A superb gamebook. Port Blacksand, the titular city of thieves, is a fascinating place for exploration and skullduggery. It comes across as a well-developed, coherent environment, quite amazing for such an early entrant into the series. It is so well developed and ceaselessly entertaining that it shames those that came before and most of those that came after. This is one of the few Fighting Fantasy books where it's quite easy to find everything you need for a successful completion as long as you explore thoroughly. Though having said that, there's one unwelcome instance where if you stop to do one thing, the book doesn't then allow you the chance to duck down a side alley you had noticed a moment before. This isn't an issue with most other encounters, and since this alley leads to one of the needed items, it's an unfair ploy. The exploration of the city is also pretty balanced. Even someone with mediocre scores would find the encounters fair, and there's plenty of healing to be found and opportunities to restore Luck. When you leave the city and travel toward the tower of Zanbar Bone for the climax, the difficulty suddenly and drastically spikes and anyone with a Skill score less than 11 need not bother as you'll never get through. This doesn't wash. The worst idea in the book - and possibly in any FF book ever - comes right at the very end, where you have to make a choice out of three. You're given no clues, it's simply a case of eeny meeny miney mo, and if you choose wrong, you're dead. So you've trawled all the way through the book to find you have a totally random 2 in 3 chance of failing for no fault of your own. Bollocks to that! I've still awarded 5 stars, because Port Blacksand itself is so intriguing and evocative and the bulk of the book is magnificent, the very best a gamebook can be. But the ending sucks gorilla balls.

  9. 4 out of 5

    Paul Gibbons

    Great book. You've not lived till you've had a walk round port Blacksand and had a fisty cuffs with Zanbar Bone. Some really memorable parts in this book.

  10. 4 out of 5

    Carol

    great book

  11. 4 out of 5

    Michelle Keill

    Death by pirate! Argh!!! This was the first ever Fighting Fantasy book I got back in the glorious 80s, and it had me hooked. Still great now - I love it :-)

  12. 4 out of 5

    Graham

    An action-packed, twisty-turny Fighting Fantasy novel set in one of that world's most notorious cities - Port Blacksand, a place that makes inner city London look like the Bahamas. This is a solo outing from Ian Livingstone, who devised some of the series' best adventures, and it's another winner. The real strength of CITY OF THIEVES is the sense of place and the atmosphere that fills the city. There's a real homogeneity to the various locations in the story, and it's a place that cries out to be An action-packed, twisty-turny Fighting Fantasy novel set in one of that world's most notorious cities - Port Blacksand, a place that makes inner city London look like the Bahamas. This is a solo outing from Ian Livingstone, who devised some of the series' best adventures, and it's another winner. The real strength of CITY OF THIEVES is the sense of place and the atmosphere that fills the city. There's a real homogeneity to the various locations in the story, and it's a place that cries out to be mapped so that further adventures build and expand on what's come before. There are also lots and lots of situations that need to be handled carefully, with one wrong move leading to possible death or the failure of the mission. It also feels a bit different to the others, being set in a place filled with shops and market stalls - the shoppers amongst you will have a ball! There's plenty of action to behold here, and the fights are pretty easy - at least at the outset. By all accounts things get pretty difficult in the second half, but unfortunately we never made it that far, failing to acquire all the needed items before we left the city. The story is a little frustrating in places, and I noticed a few minor issues such as running out of money, but being forced to spend it in latter sections (e.g. 'you throw 10 gold to the ground') even when you don't have it. But overall this is a strong addition to the series and one of those rare ones that cries out for repeat play throughs.

  13. 5 out of 5

    Edwin McRae

    It was wonderful to revisit Port Blacksand after all of these years, but I'm afraid I have to be that kid who points out that the emperor isn't wearing any clothes. Whilst thoroughly enjoyable, City of Thieves isn't the sharpest tool in the Fighting Fantasy shed. Arbitrary choices abound and I was a bit gutted to be presented with a truly tiny and pedestrian 'Congratulations' paragraph once I finally did slay the notorious Zanbar Bone. Come on, Ian, I worked really hard for that! Oh, and then th It was wonderful to revisit Port Blacksand after all of these years, but I'm afraid I have to be that kid who points out that the emperor isn't wearing any clothes. Whilst thoroughly enjoyable, City of Thieves isn't the sharpest tool in the Fighting Fantasy shed. Arbitrary choices abound and I was a bit gutted to be presented with a truly tiny and pedestrian 'Congratulations' paragraph once I finally did slay the notorious Zanbar Bone. Come on, Ian, I worked really hard for that! Oh, and then there's the fact that I needed to spend most of my time breaking into people's houses and then often killing then when they quite rightly protested my flagrant pilfering of their stuff. And why am I always given the option to attack innocent shopkeepers with my sword? Not very heroic. :-( Ah, well...good times nonetheless and the experience has left me curious about Ian's latest return to Port Blacksand, 'Port of Peril'.

  14. 5 out of 5

    Cupof Tea

    We played through this story for the first time yesterday. With a starting skill of 9, stamina of 20, and luck 10 we managed to collect some of the needed items for our quest to kill some bad dude who needed killing. Unfortunately, when we got to the tattooist we were ONE GOLD SHORT of affording the white unicorn in a yellow sun forehead tattoo we needed to carry forward. At least we didn't die. Unfortunately Cian decided to walk past some dangerous city guards and when we couldn't bribe them we We played through this story for the first time yesterday. With a starting skill of 9, stamina of 20, and luck 10 we managed to collect some of the needed items for our quest to kill some bad dude who needed killing. Unfortunately, when we got to the tattooist we were ONE GOLD SHORT of affording the white unicorn in a yellow sun forehead tattoo we needed to carry forward. At least we didn't die. Unfortunately Cian decided to walk past some dangerous city guards and when we couldn't bribe them we had to kill them, leading to an escape from the city which we could not enter again. Oh well, there will be a next time :)

  15. 4 out of 5

    Jimbo

    Without a shadow of doubt this was the best in the series do far. City of Thieves was an absorbing romp through Port Blacksand which is split into two parts. Firstly you must find the wizard who will tell you to find some items, then you must take those items to kill the Big Bad. The story flows in a nice manner and I didn't find myself going round in circles. There are more instant deaths in this one than previous books, but I was able to make it through relatively easily first time. Stats-wise, Without a shadow of doubt this was the best in the series do far. City of Thieves was an absorbing romp through Port Blacksand which is split into two parts. Firstly you must find the wizard who will tell you to find some items, then you must take those items to kill the Big Bad. The story flows in a nice manner and I didn't find myself going round in circles. There are more instant deaths in this one than previous books, but I was able to make it through relatively easily first time. Stats-wise, this book keeps it simple with the core stats and a bit of magic. I feel future entries in the series will struggle to match City of Thieves for atmosphere, playability and excitement.

  16. 5 out of 5

    Helen Pugsley

    I WON!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! I had to give myself psychic powers, carte blanche, and way too much coffee (in other words I cheated like a fiend), BUT I WON. I got way too invested in this for several days and second only to almost getting hit by a car on my bike in the dark... This is the most thrilling thing I've done all week. (Don't tell my mom I almost got hit. Again... She worries.)

  17. 4 out of 5

    Miss Jools

    Eventful first attempt - won lots of fights and managed to gather a few of the required items to beat the baddie, but accidentally left the city while fleeing trolls and guards - meaning failure....oops! Good story and location with lots of interesting options, liked this one a lot.

  18. 5 out of 5

    Hellread

    A more coherent story than you'd expect from most CYOA books. The plot is a bit contrived and the quest is way too arbitrary. But it has its moments. (view spoiler)[The ending is way too random and has very little to do with earlier decisions. You literally roll a die to see if you win. (hide spoiler)]

  19. 5 out of 5

    D.

    City of Thieves (Fighting Fantasy) by Ian Livingstone (2002)

  20. 4 out of 5

    Jeremy Hayes

    Definitely the first book that got me to love the idea of fantasy thieves and a was an inspiration for my current novel many many many years later.

  21. 5 out of 5

    Jainang Patwa

    So good

  22. 5 out of 5

    Pam Templeton

    addictive. spent many a tweenage afternoon trying to master this ultimate twistaplot.

  23. 4 out of 5

    Evey Morgan

    Un libro para pasártelo en grande jugando una partida de rol en solitario o en grupo.

  24. 4 out of 5

    Linda Clark

    This was one of my favourites. I love the characters in this book. Especially the Goblins playing Bays Ball. Hilarious.

  25. 5 out of 5

    Jakub Kvíz

    Kdyby se mi to nepodarilo zazrakem dohrat na prvni pokus a musel to hrat nekolikrat, jako treba Proklety hvozd, tak bych asi dal nizsi hodnoceni, ale mam momentalne prevazuje dobrej pocit :). Kazdopadne Mesto zlodeju je jeden z tech klasickejch FF gamebooku, ktery sem jako dite nikdy nedrzel v ruce. A vzhledem k tomu, ze loni vysel po dlouhy dobe novej FF gamebook Port of Peril, kde se ma objevit zaporak z Mesta zlodeju, tak Meso byla jasna volba, kterou klasiku si zahrat. Mesto zlodeju je klasick Kdyby se mi to nepodarilo zazrakem dohrat na prvni pokus a musel to hrat nekolikrat, jako treba Proklety hvozd, tak bych asi dal nizsi hodnoceni, ale mam momentalne prevazuje dobrej pocit :). Kazdopadne Mesto zlodeju je jeden z tech klasickejch FF gamebooku, ktery sem jako dite nikdy nedrzel v ruce. A vzhledem k tomu, ze loni vysel po dlouhy dobe novej FF gamebook Port of Peril, kde se ma objevit zaporak z Mesta zlodeju, tak Meso byla jasna volba, kterou klasiku si zahrat. Mesto zlodeju je klasickej Livingstone, kterej vas “zbytecne” nezatezuje nejakejma kouzlama nebo schopnostma. Proste jen nahazite zakladni tri vlastnosti a jedete. Pribeh je klasickej hrdinskej bullshit, kdy musite zachranovat mesto pred nejakym divnokostlivcem a jeho partou. Cil hry se dost podoba treba prave Prokletemu hvozdu - projit “dungeon” (v tomhle pripade mesto) a sesbirat par predmetu, ktery potrebujete k porazeni zaporaka. Tradicni bossfight se nekona, staci pouze spravne pouzit nasbirane predmety, ale finalni souboje pred konfrontaci se zaporakem vam to vynahradej. Pribeh sem prosel s prumernejma statistikama (UB 9, ST 19), ale cestou narazite na nekolik predmetu, ktery UB navysi a taky dost moznosti, kde zregenerovat zraneni. Samotnej dungeon (mesto) je relativne prehlednej, takze mapu si clovek muze kreslit, aniz by ji stokrat predelaval. Prijemne me prekvapilo, ze tu nemalou roli hraje atribut “Stesti” a penize, kterejch neni problem najit hromadu a zaroven ma clovek moznost je rozumne vyuzit. Stejne tak me prislo, ze i nalezeny predmety maj dalsi pouzity a clovek si jen neplni inventar zbytecnostma, ktery nikdy nepouzije (zastavarna, kde je mozny temer vsechno zpenezit, mi prisla super napad). Celkove sem byl s Mestem zlodej spokojenej, je to proste old school prochazecka dungeonu, ktera je propletena hledanim predmetu a soubojema, zabalena to solidniho pribehu a zajimavyho prostredi.

  26. 5 out of 5

    Dane Barrett

    City of Thieves is a book of three main sections. After receiving the initial mission the reader will need to negotiate their way through the city of Port Blacksand. Part one requires our hero to find the location of a man (Nicodemus) who could help with the defeat of the main villain (Zanbar Bone, who is terrorizing the town of Silverton), but locating Nicodemus isn't as straightforward and just getting his address and going there. The first part of Port Blacksand splits into 3 unique paths and City of Thieves is a book of three main sections. After receiving the initial mission the reader will need to negotiate their way through the city of Port Blacksand. Part one requires our hero to find the location of a man (Nicodemus) who could help with the defeat of the main villain (Zanbar Bone, who is terrorizing the town of Silverton), but locating Nicodemus isn't as straightforward and just getting his address and going there. The first part of Port Blacksand splits into 3 unique paths and while it doesn't matter in the long run which path you take, some provide more advantages than others. Once the paths converge and you have finally made contact with Nicodemus he gives you instructions on how Zanbar Bone can be defeated, which leads to part two; searching through a mostly-linear area of Port Blacksand for ingredients that can be used to make a compound that can defeat your enemy. You'll also need to obtain a specific weapon that will help stun Zanbar Bone so the compound can be applied, and find someone who can give you a particular tattoo for protection. This second section is very forgiving, giving the reader many opportunities to turn back if they are going the wrong way and going to miss a key item. Its still possible to stuff this up though, especially if you don't have enough money and items to be able to afford the tattoo or to have the special weapon made. Once you've left Port Blacksand you then need to venture to the much shorter third part of the quest, which is entering Zanbar's tower and killing him. Note that this part is only relevant if you managed to collect all the items needed for the compound, the weapon and also obtained the tattoo. If not, your adventure will have already ended in failure. Things get further complicated when you discover Nicodemus may have accidentally misled you as to the make-up of the compound necessary to defeat Zanbar. This can either be a very easy book or a remarkably challenging one, depending on which paths you take in the city portion. There is also a potentially tough unavoidable battle vs two Moondogs before you enter the final tower, and this can be very hard to overcome if your character doesn't have a high SKILL level, so be wary of remembering where skill or combat-boosting items are located on repeated play-throughs.

  27. 4 out of 5

    Juho Pohjalainen

    City of Thieves has some bad stuff and some good stuff, and the latter wins out. Our evil sorcerer #3, Zambar Bone, extorts the mayor of Silverton for the hand of his daughter, and the mayor decides to hire you to instead dispose of the guy. This quest leads you to the titular City of Thieves, Port Blacksand, where you must - this is the bad stuff - go around pretty much the exact precise path to collect plot coupons in order to be able to do battle with the sorcerer. Like is the case with The Wa City of Thieves has some bad stuff and some good stuff, and the latter wins out. Our evil sorcerer #3, Zambar Bone, extorts the mayor of Silverton for the hand of his daughter, and the mayor decides to hire you to instead dispose of the guy. This quest leads you to the titular City of Thieves, Port Blacksand, where you must - this is the bad stuff - go around pretty much the exact precise path to collect plot coupons in order to be able to do battle with the sorcerer. Like is the case with The Warlock, there's really only about one path for you to take, which is one of those things I never much liked: it means that there's little reason for all the other colorful and interesting encounters and challenges, once you've gone through them once and realized that this was the wrong way around. There's not a great deal of replay value there either. But it does what it does extremely well. It's well-written, atmospheric, tense, and sufficiently difficult without falling into frustrating or cheating. It introduces us to one of my favourite Wretched Hives in all fiction, and greatly expands the scope and the size of the entire setting for that matter. And the artwork of Iain McCaig is some of the best in the entire series (I do wish he'd have drawn stuff for more books). All these factors help bump it into something I like and something I'd recommend, and that I still rather like to play through sometimes, even if it's largely by autopilot nowadays. Not everyone minds about the linearity, though: it's kind of a staple of the series, and many of us enjoy the numerous blunders and failures before you find the one true path. If you are one of those people, feel free to bump this review (as well as any other reviews I make of similarly linear books in the series) up by a full star or so.

  28. 5 out of 5

    Samuel

    This was my first gamebook ever and I was pleased with the feeling of survival that the book gave me. It was very enjoyable until I've understand that your faith was pretty much on a luck driven train. It felt quite frustrating at time when I would get punished for no reason... and 1 or two bad dice roll could litteraly cost you the game. Nevertheless I still enjoyed the story and wish to explore other avenues but Im a little hesitant to purchase another book from that series.

  29. 4 out of 5

    Who

    Rather easy by FF standards- one of the few that could be finished by a low-skill character given the abundance of provisions and low difficulty encounters. Finished in an evening, I wasn't smitten with the setting, which consists of a fairly linear route of alternating crazies and shops. But it flows well enough

  30. 4 out of 5

    Ian

    One of my favourite FF books,the first one I ever owned as a teenager,find and kill the evil Night Stalker Zambar Bone which is indeed did!!

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