Douglas Niles, The Rod of Seven Parts (TSR, 1996)
[originally posted 24Sep2001]
Tired of waiting for the next installment of George Martin’s Song of Ice and Fire saga? Might as well head back to one of the novels based on the game that revitalized modern fantasy in America. The Rod of Seven Parts is one of the oldest legends in the Dungeons and Dragons world, tracing all the way back to the first published materials (back when it was still called Chainmail). Almost twenty-five years after those first books were published, long-established TSR author Doug Niles goes back and fleshes out a little Rod of Seven Parts lore.
This isn’t, and shouldn’t be approached as, one of the epic novels that TSR has gotten somewhat famous for. Don’t go in expecting the sweeping, world-changing grandiosity of the original Dragonlance saga, or the deep-rootedness of R. A. Salvatore’s seemingly endless saga of Drizzt the dark elf (and long may it continue). This is a simple standalone novel about a halfling and his rod. The usual fantasy material is there—he finds himself on a quest through no fault of his own, gets mixed up in a number of bad situations, finds some companions along the way who prove their worth any number of times, etc. It’s quick, easy, readable, and fun. ** ½