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Record of Lodoss War: The Grey Witch

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Parn, a reckless but passionate swordsman embarks on a quest to discover the source of a great evil overwhelming the country of Lodoss Joining him are Deedlit, a young elf wielding great magic; Ghim, the tough-asstones dwarf; Etoh, a fledging priest; Slayn, the group's sorcerer; and Woodchuck, their indispensable thief. Together, this iconic group will join forces to disco Parn, a reckless but passionate swordsman embarks on a quest to discover the source of a great evil overwhelming the country of Lodoss Joining him are Deedlit, a young elf wielding great magic; Ghim, the tough-asstones dwarf; Etoh, a fledging priest; Slayn, the group's sorcerer; and Woodchuck, their indispensable thief. Together, this iconic group will join forces to discover the truth behind a world torn apart by ancient deities and wield the power needed to defeat the Grey Witch!


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Parn, a reckless but passionate swordsman embarks on a quest to discover the source of a great evil overwhelming the country of Lodoss Joining him are Deedlit, a young elf wielding great magic; Ghim, the tough-asstones dwarf; Etoh, a fledging priest; Slayn, the group's sorcerer; and Woodchuck, their indispensable thief. Together, this iconic group will join forces to disco Parn, a reckless but passionate swordsman embarks on a quest to discover the source of a great evil overwhelming the country of Lodoss Joining him are Deedlit, a young elf wielding great magic; Ghim, the tough-asstones dwarf; Etoh, a fledging priest; Slayn, the group's sorcerer; and Woodchuck, their indispensable thief. Together, this iconic group will join forces to discover the truth behind a world torn apart by ancient deities and wield the power needed to defeat the Grey Witch!

30 review for Record of Lodoss War: The Grey Witch

  1. 4 out of 5

    DarkChaplain

    Preordered this the moment I found out about it. Oh dear me, what have I done to deserve this happening? I don't usually like gif'ing things up, but I'll make an exception here to express my excitement for this release. I cannot wait to read the novel come November. Though this far out, I may need to rewatch the anime. Again. This is a classic western-style fantasy story that you wouldn't expect to come from Japan if you look at anime/manga culture these days. It's got plenty of D&D-esque elements Preordered this the moment I found out about it. Oh dear me, what have I done to deserve this happening? I don't usually like gif'ing things up, but I'll make an exception here to express my excitement for this release. I cannot wait to read the novel come November. Though this far out, I may need to rewatch the anime. Again. This is a classic western-style fantasy story that you wouldn't expect to come from Japan if you look at anime/manga culture these days. It's got plenty of D&D-esque elements to it, from dragons watching over treasures, evil beings trying to bring the end of the world and a ragtag party of heroes across the class-spectrum. I mean, it literally started out as a Pen & Paper project back in the 80s! About bloody time somebody finally brought it over officially so I can throw money at it.

  2. 5 out of 5

    F.D. Gross

    Lodoss, the accursed island. So true is this saying in this classic hero tale of good versus evil. Parn, the dedicated warrior of justice is seeking to become a hero and protector of Lodoss, an island with a rich history of war and strife. Joining a rag tag group of unlikely adventurers, they set out on a quest which soon erupts into something much more grand. Massive war breaks out across the land. A daughter of a priestess goes missing. Record of Lodoss War is your typical D&D adventure taken f Lodoss, the accursed island. So true is this saying in this classic hero tale of good versus evil. Parn, the dedicated warrior of justice is seeking to become a hero and protector of Lodoss, an island with a rich history of war and strife. Joining a rag tag group of unlikely adventurers, they set out on a quest which soon erupts into something much more grand. Massive war breaks out across the land. A daughter of a priestess goes missing. Record of Lodoss War is your typical D&D adventure taken from (my guess) 1st edition (it was published in 1988). Being an old school gamer myself, it was interesting to see the dynamic of six standard hero classes set out on a journey across an island full of evil monsters. Warrior, elf, dwarf, wizard, cleric, and thief. An excellent blend of character classes to overcome any adversary. Roy Mizuno encapsulated the very essence of role playing adventures and put it into novel form. This book was created also right around the era of Dragonlance (do you remember those book?) which had a large influence in my fantasy interests back in the day. What was the most appealing aspect of the book was the compassion displayed by three of the main characters, Parn, Slayn, and Ghim. Parn for his absolute undying resolve to do whats right. Although not a paladin per say, he had the diligence of upholding justice in the name of his dead father, Tessius. Everything he fought for was for honor and the well being of Lodoss and its people. Slayn Starseeker, one of th few wizards left in the land, is all about supporting those with a cause, always learning the truth, and balancing the odds in the groups effort to restore peace. He is one badass of a wizard, mind you, always using the smaller, weaker spells, to overcome obstacles, rather than the large flashy ones. He was never about displaying power. And then there’s Ghim, the stout dwarf of the party. He holds a secret that none of the others know about, and consequently, his mission intertwines with the other's mission, which causes him to stick with the group despite the promise he made to a priestess. He eats a lot, typical of dwarves, and carries a battle axe to do his monster exterminations. Really the only draw back to the story was that it is a tale thats out dated and written in a style that was very acceptable back in the 1980’s. With the narration focusing more on the telling of the story rather than the showing, there would be long drawn out periods of exposition and gaps in the time line spanning over months. But this is not something that should discourage a reader. Record of Lodoss is a true classic tale that will never lose its charm over the ages. I will say that I thoroughly enjoyed the ending to this book, although some parts were not happy, and that it had its certain romantic zing which you don’t really get anymore these days in the contemporary world of story telling. 4 out of 5 stars. F. D. Gross

  3. 4 out of 5

    Kumasama

    *Score: 5/10* War on land of Lodoss, brave set of heroes come to save the land from the evil witch.... I know, very generic. This was written in 1988, and reflects the classic japanese fantasy anime / role playing games settings of late 80s and early 90s. I love those settings and even though they tend to be predictable, they tend to be relaxing and tend to have nice character banter and relations. Unfortunately, this one is so dull and bland even from those aspects. There is nothing memorable here *Score: 5/10* War on land of Lodoss, brave set of heroes come to save the land from the evil witch.... I know, very generic. This was written in 1988, and reflects the classic japanese fantasy anime / role playing games settings of late 80s and early 90s. I love those settings and even though they tend to be predictable, they tend to be relaxing and tend to have nice character banter and relations. Unfortunately, this one is so dull and bland even from those aspects. There is nothing memorable here at all. Characters barely knowing each other with minor exceptions decide randomly to adventure together and then discover an even plot to ruin the continent, and everything is written in very amaturish way. Worldbuilding is also generic and bland, and stereotypes abound. The good thing here is there is no "fan service" and its done in a classical inoffensive way, and generally no grating and annoying characters. Also, the villian was kind of fun even though generic, so overall was readable, but wont recommend it to most readers.

  4. 5 out of 5

    Anthony Giordano

    Best viewed as a curious novelty. While being mindful, and reverent, of what was born from this series; looking back, we can see it was quite simply written (although the translation is smooth and enjoyable), the characters are basic and thinly developed, and certain scenes feel rushed or glossed over. The hardback is beautiful and chock full of gorgeous pictures; it will undoubtedly look great on your bookshelf. However, for the best Lodoss experience, stick to the OVA's. I'd still buy and read th Best viewed as a curious novelty. While being mindful, and reverent, of what was born from this series; looking back, we can see it was quite simply written (although the translation is smooth and enjoyable), the characters are basic and thinly developed, and certain scenes feel rushed or glossed over. The hardback is beautiful and chock full of gorgeous pictures; it will undoubtedly look great on your bookshelf. However, for the best Lodoss experience, stick to the OVA's. I'd still buy and read the subsequent volumes if they released them here, though....

  5. 4 out of 5

    Hatchet Mouth

    Not as good as the anime, though.

  6. 4 out of 5

    Kurezan

    Solid story, with a decent characterization in a short 240 pages. Had an interesting world and premise going for it, with a very nice art style sprinkled throughout the novel in key moments. This edition in particular (the Gold Edition), was very nice, and came with colorful illustrations from the series. Although it is the first in the series, it has a fairly conclusive story. But I enjoyed the experience so much that I really want to read the subsequent entries in the series now. Here's hoping Solid story, with a decent characterization in a short 240 pages. Had an interesting world and premise going for it, with a very nice art style sprinkled throughout the novel in key moments. This edition in particular (the Gold Edition), was very nice, and came with colorful illustrations from the series. Although it is the first in the series, it has a fairly conclusive story. But I enjoyed the experience so much that I really want to read the subsequent entries in the series now. Here's hoping they bring the other books over too.

  7. 4 out of 5

    Jack Baillot

    My review https://howeverimporbable.blogspot.co... My review https://howeverimporbable.blogspot.co...

  8. 4 out of 5

    Alexander Case

    Note: This review originally appeared on my site. A few years ago I did a video review of the original OVA for Record of Lodoss War. At that time, the OVA was out of print, as was (and still is, sadly) the manga adaptation of the novels. Since then, Funimation (not the company I expected to do it) license rescued all of the anime, and now Seven Seas has done something I never expected to happen - they licensed the first novel, and gave it a fantastic edition in 2017. The OVA and the novel share a Note: This review originally appeared on my site. A few years ago I did a video review of the original OVA for Record of Lodoss War. At that time, the OVA was out of print, as was (and still is, sadly) the manga adaptation of the novels. Since then, Funimation (not the company I expected to do it) license rescued all of the anime, and now Seven Seas has done something I never expected to happen - they licensed the first novel, and gave it a fantastic edition in 2017. The OVA and the novel share a common framework and characters, but have some very dramatic changes from the novel to the anime. Some of these are clearly due to the change in medium. Others appear to be due to budgetary restrictions and length. The book follows the party of Parn - a young inexperienced warrior seeking to prove himself and try to make the world a better place, Deedlit - an elf looking for adventure who finds herself drawn to Parn and his companions, Etoh - a priest of Pharis and Parn's childhood friend, Slayn Starseeker - a wizard searching for knowledge and something else... he doesn't know what yet, Woodchuck - a thief out for wealth and with a chip on his shoulder, and Ghim - a Dwarf looking for the missing daughter of the priestess of Marfa and his friend, Neese. The party goes on their adventures along the backdrop of an invasion of the island of Lodoss by the forces of the dark empire of Marmo, lead by Emperor Beld. Beld is advised by a mysterious sorceress known only as Karla. And that's where a lot of similarities end. Probably the biggest example of this is the characters of Ashram and Pirotess. In the anime they are set up very early on as the dark opposites of Parn and Deedlit - both are skilled warriors (though Ashram is very skilled from the beginning), and both care for each other, though Ashram and Pirotess aren't particularly able to show it because in Marmo it would be a sign of weakness. In the anime, Ashram and Parn first meet during the sacking of an Alanian fortress, with Parn witnessing Ashram's attack and swearing revenge. Further, throughout the anime, when the narrative moves to the Marmo camp, in addition to seeing Beld and Karla plotting, we also see Beld and Ashram together (setting up Ashram as Beld's #2), and Ashram and Pirotess (again, setting up Ashram and Pirotess as the dark version of Parn and Deed). In the novel, on the other hand, while we cut back to Beld and Karla, Ashram barely shows up in this the book, only appearing briefly in the battle between the Empire of Marmo and the Valis Alliance, and Pirotess doesn't show up at all. Wagnard, Beld's court magician, is dramatically much more visible, and has a much more direct connection to our protagonists, though he and the Heroes of Lodoss don't interact in this story. This leads to the other really dramatic change. Much more time is spent on characters backstory in this installment. In the OVA, we get backstory for Parn and his goal to redeem his father's memory, and Ghim and his goal to bring back Lydia to Neese. However, here we also get more backstory for Woodchuck and Slayn. We learn about Slayn's time at the Wizard's academy, why he left, and we get a connection through him and Wagnard - that Wagnard was a classmate of Slayn's who was not only expelled, but also had a lock placed on his magic so he cannot cast spells without great physical pain. Also, the book sets up that Woodchuck had been incarcerated for almost 20 years for a heist gone wrong, and was only just released, putting a chip on his shoulder that leads to him making a particular decision at the end of the story that he didn't make in the anime. Additionally, the dungeon crawl that takes up the OVA's first episode takes up about two paragraphs in the novel. The other changes are a little less dramatic. Parn and company meet Deedlit and Woodchuck in the middle of a festival in the novel, which would have been really expensive to animate in the OVA. Also, in the OVA, the battle between the Valis Alliance and Marmo is just a general pitched battle, without any real tactics or maneuvering (and which generally goes badly for the Alliance before the end), while in the book, it's a more strategically planned battle, with Parn and Kashue taking on a flanking force of Marmo, and only after they are repelled successfully do they join up with the main force, and then at that point do they lose the track of the battle and things start to look closer. As an aside, there's another change from the book to the OVA, but the Chronicles of the Heroic Knight TV series incorporates and shows the book version, so it less merits mentioning. Karla is still one of my favorite antagonists, because her worldview is internally consistent, and while it doesn't make sense from a human perspective - that's the point - she's lived so long and through so many bodies that she's effectively lost touch with her humanity, which makes her a more interesting and unique protagonist. The character of Mordenkainen in Greyhawk is the closest character in tabletop RPGs as far as motivations go, through as near as I can tell, the depiction of his motivation as being similar to Karla's doesn't seem to appear until after Lodoss gets a US release in the late 80s, so I don't know if that aspect of the character was inspired by Lodoss . The Grey Witch isn't exactly a ground-breaking novel now, particularly when it comes to modern heroic fantasy. As with Legend of the Galactic Heroes, it's a genre that has become well trod, and numerous other works have paid reference to and been inspired by. Still, it's worth reading seeing where all those stories came from, and honestly, it's an exciting read.

  9. 4 out of 5

    Niquie

    Seven Seas did such a beautiful job with the packaging, and the inclusion of color illustrations was really nice. My favorite was XIV, so pretty. Objectively this is a 3 star book for me. It has it's flaws. Characters could've been developed better, there are scenes that pretty much summarize events that happened off screen. This is a pretty straight forward story, making it easy to read. The pacing was quick and the book wrapped up quickly. Parn's party seems stumbles into situations and get luck Seven Seas did such a beautiful job with the packaging, and the inclusion of color illustrations was really nice. My favorite was XIV, so pretty. Objectively this is a 3 star book for me. It has it's flaws. Characters could've been developed better, there are scenes that pretty much summarize events that happened off screen. This is a pretty straight forward story, making it easy to read. The pacing was quick and the book wrapped up quickly. Parn's party seems stumbles into situations and get lucky a lot. It's funny, other characters hold Parn's party (minus Wood) in such high regard, but why? They're clearly weak so I'm not sure it was earned. But in an era of OP characters it's a bit refreshing to read about a group that's weak and knows it's weak. The villain has an interesting motive, but I kept wanting to slap her and yell "What gives you the right to decide that!" The other minor villain seemed pretty interesting too, he even had backstory with an ally, but his storyline is resolved surprisingly quickly, possibly realistically, but it was a bit of a let down. The ending felt like a let down, but I guess it leaves the story open for the sequel. I did enjoy the unexpected love story. Of all the characters the one I felt for the most was Wood. I couldn't help but pity him. I really felt his bitterness and loss of so many years of his life for a crime that didn't seem to warrant such an extreme sentence. And the difference in how he was treated compared to the other party members felt like a kick in the balls. So while enjoyable this story is flawed, but the reason I bumped up a star is because of nostalgia. This was one of the first anime's I ever saw (Slayers being the first). The opening song is still one of my favorites and actually played in my head while I was reading. It's been so long I don't actually remember much of the plot, just snippets like the berserker whose fate differed depending on the anime adaptation, and Spark's season having those funny parody skits each ep, and the beautiful friendship between villains later. But what I remember clearest is that I loved this anime when I was a child, I watched it with my brothers. And for that this book will always be special to me. I hope the rest of the series gets translated, and that one day the Slayers light novels get brought over again. I really like how Seven Seas keeps licensing older titles.

  10. 4 out of 5

    Nicolás Ciancio

    I'm an avid fantasy reader and I've been a fan of anime and manga since a really early age, so I figured it was about time for me to delve deeply into fantasy written by Japanese authors. Due to a matter of availability I was forced to start off with a more commercial rather literary fantasy, so it made sense for me to start with the book that sparked the fantasy light novel craze that's still going on to this very day. I was well aware of its RPG origins, so I was expecting the cliched characte I'm an avid fantasy reader and I've been a fan of anime and manga since a really early age, so I figured it was about time for me to delve deeply into fantasy written by Japanese authors. Due to a matter of availability I was forced to start off with a more commercial rather literary fantasy, so it made sense for me to start with the book that sparked the fantasy light novel craze that's still going on to this very day. I was well aware of its RPG origins, so I was expecting the cliched characters and all, but I was shocked at how extremely uninspired and linear the storytelling was, the lifeless prose, the below-average character development and the meandering yet ultimately aimless plot. The crazy thing is that I actually started reading with a positive bias towards it; I was familiar with the characters (Parn, Ghim, Deelit, etc) and I wanted to love it, yet I could barely enjoy it at all. Its shortcomings are way too many. After reading the book and being extremely disappointed with it, I went on and watched the OVAs. The audiovisual experience was completely different from the read and very enthralling. The animation was superb, the soundtrack beautiful and compelling. The protagonists, even though they were still stock characters had a lot more depth to them, because of their design, their movements and expressions. Ryo Mizuno skimped words on all of those elements that bring characters to life. The fact that I disliked the novel so much didn't deterred me from approaching the story on other media, like the 3 volume manga illustrated by Yoshihiko Ochi, which was beautiful, lively and quite compelling though not as much as the OVAs, yet more faithful to the novel. If you read to this point and think "this guy is a hater; what a douche", let me point out that Ryo Mizuno himself has admitted to feel embarrassed when re-reading what it is, and I'm quoting, "the awful work of a beginner". I read this in the foreword of the manga adaptation. TL;DR: An endearing yet flawed attempt at fantasy literature whose only highlight are the beautiful illustrations by Yutaka Izubuchi.

  11. 5 out of 5

    Nathan

    This was a wonderful little book. The copy I have is a gorgeous hardback book with gold lettering. It's also got some enchanting artwork inside that will absolutely delight you if you're a fan of the anime. Plus, an afterword by Hitoshi Yasuda. Really cool stuff. I have to say that I'm being outrageously subjective in my enjoyment of this book. I'll spare you the copious amount of details behind this book's creation, the Tabletop RPG, the anime series, (Which I also love,) and just say up front This was a wonderful little book. The copy I have is a gorgeous hardback book with gold lettering. It's also got some enchanting artwork inside that will absolutely delight you if you're a fan of the anime. Plus, an afterword by Hitoshi Yasuda. Really cool stuff. I have to say that I'm being outrageously subjective in my enjoyment of this book. I'll spare you the copious amount of details behind this book's creation, the Tabletop RPG, the anime series, (Which I also love,) and just say up front that this book is basically someone writing down a D&D session. If that sounds like fun to you, then have at it. If you've played D&D, some moments will stick out and make you laugh as you think, "Ah, I know what happened here. Someone rolled a 1," Obviously, some of it has been changed to make it fit into a more traditional structure, otherwise you'd have all kinds of dumb stuff happening. Obviously, Record of Lodoss War: The Grey Witch was originally written in Japanese, and this is a translation; but it never gets overly clunky or unbearable. It stays steadily readable throughout the entire book. As far as fantasy goes, this is nothing special in the realm of world-building or unforgettable characters. But it is really fun. It's one whole story, beginning, middle and end, that you can pick up and read about a priest, fighter, wizard, thief, elf and dwarf going on an adventure in a high fantasy setting. It's just what I wanted. It's not overly complicated, not a saga that's stretched out over 14 other novels, (Although, there are other books you could read if you wanted to,) and I really just appreciated that. It's not high art, but it's better than Dragonlance, in my opinion. If you've seen the anime and you want to know where it all started, check it out.

  12. 4 out of 5

    Maverynthia

    This really isn't a good story. There's next to no characterization and the kind that is there falls into stereotypes. Deetlit is supposed to hate dwarves, but we are told this and not shown this, and even then only once. We really only get backstory on Parn, because he's the protagonist, even thought this is from a TRPG where there really shouldn't be one protagonist. Woodchuck gets the least amount of lines devoted to him and the fight between Kashue and Beld is frankly the most detailed thing This really isn't a good story. There's next to no characterization and the kind that is there falls into stereotypes. Deetlit is supposed to hate dwarves, but we are told this and not shown this, and even then only once. We really only get backstory on Parn, because he's the protagonist, even thought this is from a TRPG where there really shouldn't be one protagonist. Woodchuck gets the least amount of lines devoted to him and the fight between Kashue and Beld is frankly the most detailed thing in the book. We get Ashram in there, from nowhere as he's never remarked on, but suddenly he's been fighting with Parn. Really I think the anime does a bit better job of giving them character. Oh and Deetlit.. of course falls inta love with Parn for... no real reason at all. I'd say she's just a lamp that uses magic on occasion but really Parn has a whole Rent-A-Room following him. The translation also needed some QC, the te-u-ra thing I pointed out in my notes as well as Slayn's Philosopher's ROPE getting frayed. Then there's the major problem that an error version was sent to the stores so if you ordered it form Amazon, you'd get one with red ink.

  13. 5 out of 5

    Matt Ely

    I checked this out mostly as a historical document. Although it's the first release of the novel in English, this 1988 book helped start the light novel industry in Japan and also was the source material for one of the first Japanese shows to break through to an American audience in its original construction. Although it doesn't have much depth to speak of, the world is fun to visit. This was written at the height of earnest, archetypal D&D novels, so many of the character traits are indistingui I checked this out mostly as a historical document. Although it's the first release of the novel in English, this 1988 book helped start the light novel industry in Japan and also was the source material for one of the first Japanese shows to break through to an American audience in its original construction. Although it doesn't have much depth to speak of, the world is fun to visit. This was written at the height of earnest, archetypal D&D novels, so many of the character traits are indistinguishable from their class. Toward the end, the plot tends to hammer its convenient resolutions too much and too many productive turns fall into the characters' laps, but it never ceases to be a pleasant ride. It also deserves to be said that Seven Seas produced a really excellent product here. The hardcover and gold lettering are both beautiful, and the pages have a great weight. It feels like a labor of love for a once-lost document. The publisher's enthusiasm for the product is contagious. And the generous splash of original illustrations is an added bonus.

  14. 4 out of 5

    Mars

    There's not a whole lot I can say about this book. It's very simple: simply written, with a straightforward plot, and straightforward characters. It looks like any other fantasy novel, but it's actually a light novel. However, just because something is a light novel doesn't make it any less enjoyable. Sometimes, you just need something simple, standard, and straightforward without too many twists and turns. Yet it still feels like a classic, that isn't bogged down by too many details or unreadab There's not a whole lot I can say about this book. It's very simple: simply written, with a straightforward plot, and straightforward characters. It looks like any other fantasy novel, but it's actually a light novel. However, just because something is a light novel doesn't make it any less enjoyable. Sometimes, you just need something simple, standard, and straightforward without too many twists and turns. Yet it still feels like a classic, that isn't bogged down by too many details or unreadable prose. It felt more accessible to me than, say, Tolkien's works, which--aside from the Hobbit--I had a lot of trouble processing. I found the characters charming, and the world-building solid. Being an aspiring fantasy writer myself, I often turned to this book when I felt like I needed inspiration or examples of how a fantasy world is laid out. I also appreciated the illustrations. I'm not sure if the rest of the books in the series have been licensed, but if they are or will be, I'd like to read those as well.

  15. 5 out of 5

    Jessica

    I have a deep fondness of the Lodoss series and have wanted to read the source material for years. I'm very happy to finally have the opportunity to read the first light novel and I learned so much more about the setting and characters than I had previously understood. It was an easy read. However it is quite simply written. I'm not sure if this is the translation author's style or her staying true to Mizuno's style. Without knowing the series beforehand, I likely wouldn't have appreciated it as I have a deep fondness of the Lodoss series and have wanted to read the source material for years. I'm very happy to finally have the opportunity to read the first light novel and I learned so much more about the setting and characters than I had previously understood. It was an easy read. However it is quite simply written. I'm not sure if this is the translation author's style or her staying true to Mizuno's style. Without knowing the series beforehand, I likely wouldn't have appreciated it as much. The story very much reads for what it is--a replay of a D&D campaign. The subsequent iterations of the narrative vastly improves in the manga and anime. Tension is often diffused too easily. If you really love Lodoss, pick this up and learn a few things. This could also be a good read for kids and young adults.

  16. 5 out of 5

    Patrice

    The story unsurprisingly follows the Grey Witch arc of the Record of Lodoss War OVA for which it was the inspiration. While the writing was ok (not bad, bit also not excellent), the book filled in a lot of background and character information that wasn't available in the anime and provided context for the anime's opening scene that the show neither explained nor revisited. It is also a beautiful book and contains a collection of illustrations that make it a lovely collectors item for fans of the The story unsurprisingly follows the Grey Witch arc of the Record of Lodoss War OVA for which it was the inspiration. While the writing was ok (not bad, bit also not excellent), the book filled in a lot of background and character information that wasn't available in the anime and provided context for the anime's opening scene that the show neither explained nor revisited. It is also a beautiful book and contains a collection of illustrations that make it a lovely collectors item for fans of the series.

  17. 5 out of 5

    Gregory

    Even moreso than it's anime adaptions, reading this book felt more like watching a D&D playthrough with the author being the dungeon master and if you've seen the anime don't worry: there's a lot of variations and differences in this book than the adaptions so it reads almost like an entirely new story. My only gripe is that Seven Seas probably don't want to put out another volume but it does read like a standalone story so there's that. Even moreso than it's anime adaptions, reading this book felt more like watching a D&D playthrough with the author being the dungeon master and if you've seen the anime don't worry: there's a lot of variations and differences in this book than the adaptions so it reads almost like an entirely new story. My only gripe is that Seven Seas probably don't want to put out another volume but it does read like a standalone story so there's that.

  18. 4 out of 5

    Kate (Looking Glass Reads)

    There is nothing I appreciate more than a re-release of an older title, especially when those of us in the US may have missed out on a translation the first time around. These are the light novels and manga of my youth, before my youth, the ones that have formed the genres and tropes we know today. Record of Lodoss War: The Grey Witch by Ryo Mizuno was first published when the concept of light novels was still new. Now, thirty years later, it is brought to the US for the first time. Record of Lod There is nothing I appreciate more than a re-release of an older title, especially when those of us in the US may have missed out on a translation the first time around. These are the light novels and manga of my youth, before my youth, the ones that have formed the genres and tropes we know today. Record of Lodoss War: The Grey Witch by Ryo Mizuno was first published when the concept of light novels was still new. Now, thirty years later, it is brought to the US for the first time. Record of Lodoss War: The Grey Witch introduces us to Parn, a young swordsman looking for answers and determined to restore honor to his father’s name. Along with a ragtag group of heroes, Parn find himself embroiled in a war that is quickly sweeping over Lodoss. Those who were once friends are now enemies, and someone is pulling strings behind the scenes, an ancient evil that must be found at all costs. The sheer quality of this light novel is something to be praised in and of itself. The vast majority of the light novels I personally own are paperbacks, most with some scattered black and white images. This is a beautiful hardcover edition with faux leather and gold embossing on the front and back covers. The endpapers are high quality patterned paper. Most of the images are in full color. Even the headers and footers of each page are nicer than normal edition. This book does what every good light novel should – it is incredibly readable – and it does it with ease. Genre staples that can bog down any typical high fantasy novel are missing here. We don’t get the page long descriptions of the scenery that can grind a scene to a halt. There are no chapter long exposition dumps filled with details of the world and its history which may or may not be completely relevant until the next book or twelve. The activities of the group are touched upon as they make their way from one plot point to another, but the author never gets lost in the endless side stories that can turn an otherwise fast paced fantasy into a ‘story about walking’. Instead, we get to know the character’s through dialogue, their actions in battle, and a very good use of third person omniscient narration. We see into each character’s head, however briefly that may be. Each character has joined this group for a specific reason, many following a quest of their own. We also get to see into the minds of other characters – kings, wizards, villains – allowing the reader a full grasp of the overarching story of the war enveloping Lodoss. Despite only being one book and having some time small time skips, the passage of time is easily felt. Parn develops both in mentality and in skill. The effects of war are seen, even if the war itself is not always present on the page. The effects of time upon the heroes of old who now fight against one another are stark, the irony and melancholy still felt despite the reader not having followed these characters on their own heroic missions. This is a standard high fantasy novel in many ways. Many hallmarks of the genre are found here, not only those typical to light novels, manga, and anime, but of high fantasy literature in general. Elves and dwarves grace the pages. Parn is an orphan setting out on a coming of age/heroes journey. Dragons and other fantastical creatures, while found in great abundance, are also found within the book. Magic is abundant, with different characters using different types of magic. And of course we have ancient, forgotten civilizations, evil emperors, and conflict across the continent. In fact, this works in the books favor, especially outside of Japan. This book is extremely accessible to a wide range of people. Like the older anime adaptation? Read the book! Like light novels? Check out one of the first in the genre! Like fantasy novels? This one has all of the staples you’ve grown to love! There is some wonderful art within the book as well. The opening pages bear color images of the main character and his companions along with a short description of who them along with a map of Lodoss. The end of the book has more images, these being more full color images showing scenes and characters from the book. All of the full color images are soft, using muted colors and a watercolor-like quality. Backgrounds are usually not very detailed, instead being a swath of blended watercolor paints. Yet my favorite images are found scattered throughout the novel. These are beautiful images made in much the same manner as the rest only this time in black and white. Each picture is a mixture of watercolor and pencil. Backgrounds are minimalistic, lending well to the play of light and dark within each image, especially in certain pictures. This creates a very interesting minimalistic quality to the images, something I really love. Record of Lodoss War: The Grey Witch is a book which fans of manga, anime, and general fantasy fiction are bound to love. I sincerely hope that further titles in the Record of Lodoss War series are translated and released in the future. This is a truly wonderful series that I urge everyone to read, and sits in a place of honor on my shelf. I received this book from the publisher in exchange for an honest review. This review originally found on Looking Glass Reads.

  19. 5 out of 5

    Alexander Desourdy

    Covers the first 2/3rds of the original anime, or more accurately , visa-versa. As a recent translation of a 30 year old story, it is an interesting artifact, that feels wrote, even if so many of the tropes are rehashes based on this original material. Probably interesting to people who have an interest in the beginnings of TRPG media and culture, but probably skip-able for general audiences.

  20. 5 out of 5

    Josh J-Raff Carrasco

    I'll be honest, I bought this online thinking it was manga. It's not, but rather an English translation of the original Record of Lodoss War novel on which the anime and manga are based. The writing is very plain and there's way too much telling and not enough showing, but if you're a fan of the anime/manga, it'll be a fun and quick read. Otherwise, you'll probably find it underwhelming. I'll be honest, I bought this online thinking it was manga. It's not, but rather an English translation of the original Record of Lodoss War novel on which the anime and manga are based. The writing is very plain and there's way too much telling and not enough showing, but if you're a fan of the anime/manga, it'll be a fun and quick read. Otherwise, you'll probably find it underwhelming.

  21. 4 out of 5

    Андрей Лисогор

    Thirty years after the Demon Wars, peace has returned to the land of Lodoss–but darkness looms. After defending his village against a horde of goblins, a headstrong young warrior named Parn sets out on a quest to restore his father’s honor and save the realm. https://readfrom.net/ryo-mizuno/52058... Thirty years after the Demon Wars, peace has returned to the land of Lodoss–but darkness looms. After defending his village against a horde of goblins, a headstrong young warrior named Parn sets out on a quest to restore his father’s honor and save the realm. https://readfrom.net/ryo-mizuno/52058...

  22. 5 out of 5

    Nick

    I checked this out after watching the anime OVA which I thought was great and the book turned out to a serviceable high fantasy read. The book was the basis for the first eight episodes of the OVA and covers the same events leading up to Karla's defeat. If you loved the OVA you can't go wrong with the source material itself. I also highly recommend it as a curiosity piece since Lodoss arguably defined the high fantasy genre in Japan alongside Guin Saga. I checked this out after watching the anime OVA which I thought was great and the book turned out to a serviceable high fantasy read. The book was the basis for the first eight episodes of the OVA and covers the same events leading up to Karla's defeat. If you loved the OVA you can't go wrong with the source material itself. I also highly recommend it as a curiosity piece since Lodoss arguably defined the high fantasy genre in Japan alongside Guin Saga.

  23. 5 out of 5

    Mike

    Anime only shorter Like the original anime but want to get a shorter recap? This light read doesn’t go into a deep background of the characters but does capture the essence of the classic Lodoss anime plot. Nice flashback for the anime fans and a good intro to those unfamiliar with the old school 70’s RPG. Well done!

  24. 4 out of 5

    Mara Swinkunas

    GREAT book! The story itself is captivating from the get. The writing isn't fantastic - it feels as though a teenager wrote it. That may be a translation from Japanese, I'm not sure. Regardless, a really delightful read! I'm hoping I can find the other books to finish the series! GREAT book! The story itself is captivating from the get. The writing isn't fantastic - it feels as though a teenager wrote it. That may be a translation from Japanese, I'm not sure. Regardless, a really delightful read! I'm hoping I can find the other books to finish the series!

  25. 5 out of 5

    Ivan

    I'm glad i found this series I was instantly interested in this series when I found out about its roots and it didn't disappoint. I've started watching the anime too and this series is a gem! I hope more of the light novel is officially translated and released. I'm glad i found this series I was instantly interested in this series when I found out about its roots and it didn't disappoint. I've started watching the anime too and this series is a gem! I hope more of the light novel is officially translated and released.

  26. 4 out of 5

    Kate

    Simple and classic. As a fan of the anime, I'm very happy to finally have a chance to read the original novel. Simple and classic. As a fan of the anime, I'm very happy to finally have a chance to read the original novel.

  27. 5 out of 5

    Murray Horne

    It's ok. The novel is missing details and there are sometimes jumps in the story line. The book needs to slow down a bit and describe the details. However the characters and story are interesting. It's ok. The novel is missing details and there are sometimes jumps in the story line. The book needs to slow down a bit and describe the details. However the characters and story are interesting.

  28. 4 out of 5

    Rafael Yamano

    Not so well written, but good for the nostalgia factor.

  29. 4 out of 5

    Leah

    If I ever play D&D I hope the story is as great as the one these guys put together.

  30. 4 out of 5

    Kenny

    By no means a perfect book, but it has a lot of heart and interesting characters. It brought back memories of old RPG video games and managed to surprise m in how it ramped up and how it ended.

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