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The Lost Temple of Ssis'sythyss

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Cursed gems, snake gods, lost temples, dark jungles and volcanoes. It could serve as a laundry list of things Ruby wanted nothing to do with. Yet now she's on her way, in search of a missing friend and with only a journal of cryptic clues and a notorious band of dungeoneering dwarves to guide her. Cursed gems, snake gods, lost temples, dark jungles and volcanoes. It could serve as a laundry list of things Ruby wanted nothing to do with. Yet now she's on her way, in search of a missing friend and with only a journal of cryptic clues and a notorious band of dungeoneering dwarves to guide her.


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Cursed gems, snake gods, lost temples, dark jungles and volcanoes. It could serve as a laundry list of things Ruby wanted nothing to do with. Yet now she's on her way, in search of a missing friend and with only a journal of cryptic clues and a notorious band of dungeoneering dwarves to guide her. Cursed gems, snake gods, lost temples, dark jungles and volcanoes. It could serve as a laundry list of things Ruby wanted nothing to do with. Yet now she's on her way, in search of a missing friend and with only a journal of cryptic clues and a notorious band of dungeoneering dwarves to guide her.

30 review for The Lost Temple of Ssis'sythyss

  1. 5 out of 5

    Wol

    In terms of being something a little different, The Dungeoneers has a fair bit going for it. In this third entry (like Discworld, Russell has designed his series to be read individually and in any order), we have a female scholar in her 60s as our protagonist, helped through her first adventure in the wilds by a huge band of Dwarf specialists (and a Gnome, but don’t tell him that). Ruby has suffered some trauma – on learning of the possible death of her dear friend and scribe/explorer Quill, she In terms of being something a little different, The Dungeoneers has a fair bit going for it. In this third entry (like Discworld, Russell has designed his series to be read individually and in any order), we have a female scholar in her 60s as our protagonist, helped through her first adventure in the wilds by a huge band of Dwarf specialists (and a Gnome, but don’t tell him that). Ruby has suffered some trauma – on learning of the possible death of her dear friend and scribe/explorer Quill, she is hunted through her campus by strange, cat like creatures who will stop at nothing to steal the diary that Quill left to her. Driven by hope, she must venture into the jungle, uncovering the secrets of the journal to discover the fate of her friend. It’s a great start to what promises to be a fun adventure. Ruby is an introvert who is not inclined to go gallivanting around in the jungle – she is joined by the Dungeoneers and a guide who knows very little about their surroundings (his reasoning being that he went to the woods once, and one set of trees is pretty much the same as any other). The Dwarves, with the exception of a few standouts, did run together for me a fair bit, but this improved as the story went on. Mungo, a Gnome who wears an elaborate fake beard and believes himself to be a Dwarf was especially enjoyable, along with Gorax – a Conan type narcissist in a loincloth who believes himself to be the greatest warrior ever to have lived. Who is more deluded, I couldn’t say. The setting is imaginative – lots of dense jungle, mysterious temples, traps, and unique cultures along the way. The plot itself is largely straightforward, with the odd twist – clues are revealed in a timely fashion due to the setup of the journal, and they are promptly deciphered by the crew. It’s a bit like Disney’s Jungle Book meets Indiana Jones, with a bit of World of Warcraft thrown in. There’s a definite feel of video-gameyness in the approach to the journal/clues, but in a way that I found to be organic and pleasing, if a little lacking in depth. I would be unsurprised to discover that Russell is a fan of old-school MMOs like Everquest, or RPGs such as Morrowind. This is an author who likes a good dungeon crawl, but without straying into the dry statistics that are often a hallmark of LitRPG. The humor, alas, was not my personal cup of tea. It was pleasant and light-hearted, and on this point I’d certainly urge people to try it for themselves – humor is obviously a subjective thing and what tickles some might leave others cold. Despite this I found the dialogue to be well thought out, and the descriptive prose conjured up images of the setting nicely. In some ways I felt that (like Neil Gaiman’s Stardust) this was a book that might actually work better as a movie or TV series. The chemistry between the characters is really what kept things moving – Ruby’s worn and slightly cranky older protagonist melded very well with the relentlessly cheerful Dwarves, and absolutely everyone’s disdain for Gorax’s antics meant that they always had something in common. Overall, The Lost Temple of Ssis’sythyss was a sunny escapade that I’d recommend to anyone who wants something to lift their mood. If you’re suffering from grimdark fatigue or you just fancy a fun adventure that won’t require too much of you, this may be worth a look. Despite it not quite clicking for me, I think it’s solidly written and many readers will find it charming.

  2. 5 out of 5

    Esme

    This is really a 3.5, it was a light and enjoyable read and stands alone despite it being the third in the series. I actually liked this one more than the first one and it's part of my SPFBO grouping as well - I'm going to leave a slightly longer review for this when BookWol has posted her official SPFBO review. This is really a 3.5, it was a light and enjoyable read and stands alone despite it being the third in the series. I actually liked this one more than the first one and it's part of my SPFBO grouping as well - I'm going to leave a slightly longer review for this when BookWol has posted her official SPFBO review.

  3. 5 out of 5

    George Keaton

    A Magical, Playful, Fae-filled Heart of Darkness Instead of many POV's to jump through, this third book in the Dungeoneers series follows one window character. Ruby is a human scribe, 60 years of age, and has only once been out in the field. Her entire life has been spent as a scholar. Until one day a close friend of hers is apparently killed. The writing is strong, giving Ruby believable life. Achy joints, unused muscles, and a fear of the unknown all play into a weak character that begs to becom A Magical, Playful, Fae-filled Heart of Darkness Instead of many POV's to jump through, this third book in the Dungeoneers series follows one window character. Ruby is a human scribe, 60 years of age, and has only once been out in the field. Her entire life has been spent as a scholar. Until one day a close friend of hers is apparently killed. The writing is strong, giving Ruby believable life. Achy joints, unused muscles, and a fear of the unknown all play into a weak character that begs to become stronger. Paired up with the many dwarves and one barbarian financier, her job is to write down her personal thoughts in one journal and the exploits of said rich barbarian in another journal. This is a great way to make all the details rich and relevant because she is an observer, not a combatant. At least, not at first. I couldn't help but briefly compare this work to Heart of Darkness/Apocalypse Now. The expedition must traverse a jungle via rivercraft into a place that is for all intents and purposes uncharted. Along the way they find that the previous expedition went very sideways. It isn't nearly as dark or foreboding as the previously mentioned book/movie, but with every turn of the river comes something new to catalog in Ruby's journals. New people, new dangers, DIDDLE WORMS, a twist in the story, it all has to be observed and written down. There is a double twist near the end of the book. One twist you can see coming if you've read Heart of Darkness or seen Apocalypse Now. The other twist I found to be...implausible. Especially given the cleverness and intelligence of the dwarves. They never seem to be blindsided by anything, but Ruby is the one who ends up solving a mystery. I still liked it, but my suspension of disbelief wavered when that particular twist happened. In the end, it takes a total team effort of dwarves and human to save the day, and it was very enjoyable to see how it all played out. I also wanted some more closure to the book. The team achieved their goals, but they let the jungle and its respective gods to do the final sorting out. I wanted finality in a couple of the open threads, but the dwarves were content with the outcome and counting their coin too, so that's good enough for story purposes. Ruby's hero arc was great, and the supporting cast of dwarves were unique in all their own ways. Out of the three Dungeoneers books I've read, this may be the best one yet. I look forward to book four.

  4. 5 out of 5

    Colton McBryer

    The rewind was great!! Next! These books are so easily digestible and the subject matter is so good. The action, humor, characters, villains, they are all top notch. May possibly be the most fun series I've read. The rewind was great!! Next! These books are so easily digestible and the subject matter is so good. The action, humor, characters, villains, they are all top notch. May possibly be the most fun series I've read.

  5. 4 out of 5

    Mark

    Nearly as good as the first book, nice to read about how Ruby joined the team. Highly recommended fun dungeon crawl.

  6. 4 out of 5

    Jeff D

    A fun read Plot moves well, an entertaining read. Looking forward to more from this author. A great book for a rainy day.

  7. 4 out of 5

    Mark

    I often want to read something that's a fun read and doesn't pretend to be anything else and so far every installment of the The Dungeoneers series has fit that bill perfectly. There are a lot of books out there that promise to deliver a fun read and fail, rather miserably, to do so. There's an art to writing a romp that Jeffery Russell manages well and does so with flair. If you aren't already familiar with The Dungeoneers then I'd recommend starting with the first in the series (https://www.goo I often want to read something that's a fun read and doesn't pretend to be anything else and so far every installment of the The Dungeoneers series has fit that bill perfectly. There are a lot of books out there that promise to deliver a fun read and fail, rather miserably, to do so. There's an art to writing a romp that Jeffery Russell manages well and does so with flair. If you aren't already familiar with The Dungeoneers then I'd recommend starting with the first in the series (https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/2...) because there is character development that you'll want for context and you'll want context for some of the jokes as well but you, if you were so inclined, read this one without the other but it wouldn't be as much fun. Russell uses inside jokes that are hilarious in context but possibly not quite as funny without. I don't fault him for this, after all he is writing a series. This adventure (Hopefully Thud doesn't come after me for calling it that) has our merry band of dwarfs trekking through the jungle of Iskae in search of, you guessed it, The Lost Temple of Ssis'sythyss which should hold the riches of the of the Nagrini, a certain piece of which is what Gorax is after. Ruby, our intrepid scribe is along to be a biographer for the great barbarian, Gorax, somewhat against her will, and The Dugeoneers are brought in as a party of two would be suicide in the jungles of Iskae. Thud and crew are prepared for almost anything, as usual, and as usual almost is what happens. From portergators to diddle worms to ancient lake monsters the jungle throws everything it has at our intrepid crew. Many shenanigans are had and much hilarity ensues. Our beloved Dungeoneers tackle the obstacles completely true to form and manage not to die, which is usually the best one can hope for from this cast of miscreants (and a gnome). I loved finally getting the backstory for Ruby and this book is really about her development. I really enjoy the worldbuilding that Russell manages to pull off in what amounts a spoof on the fantasy genre. While the writing is lighthearted and funny there is some serious effort being put forth. I appreciate the skill that has gone in to all of the Dungeoneers stories and hope that Russell continues to write about this world and continues the character development because both are an unexpected upside to a well written escape from the oft times too serious fantasy genre. I highly recommend this series to anyone who wants a break from the high brow fantasy and is looking to enjoy an adventure with a bunch of characters who you'd probably really enjoy having a beer with! You may not find any real heroes here but you are gonna have a good time with The Dungeoneers.

  8. 5 out of 5

    J. Pike

    Jeffery Russell’s titular team is an entire platoon of dwarves that extract treasures from dangerous ruins with ruthless efficiency. They bring logistics officers, geologists, transportation, a cook, “acquisition specialists," a ballista, decoy chickens, and a vanguard of highly trained combat dwarves to bear against any threat, dispatching them with cold logic and minimal drama. The result is akin to watching Rainbow 6 operatives storm a haunted house at the state fair, and it is hilarious. Rus Jeffery Russell’s titular team is an entire platoon of dwarves that extract treasures from dangerous ruins with ruthless efficiency. They bring logistics officers, geologists, transportation, a cook, “acquisition specialists," a ballista, decoy chickens, and a vanguard of highly trained combat dwarves to bear against any threat, dispatching them with cold logic and minimal drama. The result is akin to watching Rainbow 6 operatives storm a haunted house at the state fair, and it is hilarious. Russell keeps and expands on many of your favorite fantasy tropes, while tactically dismantling many of the ridiculous ones. The adventures he writes manage to keep you engrossed in a fantasy setting while lamp-shading the genre's more ridiculous conventions. The dwarves themselves are a fun bunch, although aside from a few standouts they can run together at first. There are so many specialists on so many teams that it takes a few chapters or more to start to become familiar with their personalities and quirks. Thankfully, the Dungeoneers' charismatic leader Thud always commands attention, and the humans he drags along on his expeditions are relatable and interesting. The Lost Temple of Ssis’sythyss is the third book in Russell’s series, but I’d actually recommend reading it first. It’s a prequel that focuses on Ruby, the cantankerous and determined scribe that either follows the Dungeoneers around and / or is an integral part of their team, depending on who you ask and when you ask them. The book is a great introduction to the crew and their unconventional-but-completely-logical methods. The Lost Temple's story follows Ruby on a quest to find a missing friend, a fellow scribe who has been adventuring in a sweaty tropical jungle. Initially reluctant to leave her monastic life, the old scribe soon finds herself aligned with the mercantile Dungeoneers, dodging traps, negotiating with natives, meeting forest spirits, and narrowly escaping deadly beasts. The Lost Temple of Ssis’sythyss is a fast paced, quick-witted dungeon crawl reminiscent of the best RPGs. As with Russell’s other books, it shines brightest when the Dungeoneers are methodically dismantling your favorite gaming cliches. If you're up for a good laugh and some unconventional fantasy action, I’d recommend you pick up a copy.

  9. 4 out of 5

    The

    (No spoilers.) I think Jeffery Russell must have found a magic elf with a magic keyboard, because every time he has a new book out in this series, it gets better. :) This time round sees our fabulous Dwarf friends braving dangerous jungles and raging rivers in search of a friend, a lost temple and a very valuable artifact. Every page has adventure (sorry Thud), intrigue, humour and excitement packed into it, and if you're searching for a book that you can sit down with for a few days and really e (No spoilers.) I think Jeffery Russell must have found a magic elf with a magic keyboard, because every time he has a new book out in this series, it gets better. :) This time round sees our fabulous Dwarf friends braving dangerous jungles and raging rivers in search of a friend, a lost temple and a very valuable artifact. Every page has adventure (sorry Thud), intrigue, humour and excitement packed into it, and if you're searching for a book that you can sit down with for a few days and really enjoy the hell out of, then this one fits the bill perfectly. The hilarious descriptions (and names) of the people and creatures you come across are a brilliant blending of the clever and the witty, and the hi-jinx our diminutive pals get up to will both amuse and lighten even the heaviest of spirits. These books are so much fun they make the reader want to go off on every adventure with the characters and find their own tales to tell. A marvellously well-written good time, recommended highly for anyone. Beware of the things in the water......... ;)

  10. 5 out of 5

    Matthew

    Let’s start this off by saying I don’t understand the bad reviews for this book at all. Did they get a different book than me? First of all, it’s the third in a series, (though arguably this, like the previous two are stand-alone) so people should know what they’re getting. Second, it’s just finely crafted fantasy humor. It’s not Pratchett, but it is satire with a solid dose of expectation playing and slapstick. I mean, it’s kind of like the dwarves from the Hobbit melded with Disney’s Snow Whit Let’s start this off by saying I don’t understand the bad reviews for this book at all. Did they get a different book than me? First of all, it’s the third in a series, (though arguably this, like the previous two are stand-alone) so people should know what they’re getting. Second, it’s just finely crafted fantasy humor. It’s not Pratchett, but it is satire with a solid dose of expectation playing and slapstick. I mean, it’s kind of like the dwarves from the Hobbit melded with Disney’s Snow White Dwarves and were given business smarts and skills other than fighting and mining. So yeah, I take offense to the bad reviews. Anyway, this book is a prequel of sorts as it follows the time when Ruby the scribe first joined the Dungeoneers as they hunt for ancient naga ruins. Don’t let the prequel status turn you off the book. I hate prequels, but as I said, these books are stand-alone, so you can just enjoy it and not think about it being in a series. Not to mention Ruby is GREAT. Seriously, she puts Durham to shame. This book is more of a satire on adventuring and economics than a satire or spoof of DnD. Personally, I enjoyed this change, but your mileage may vary. Long and short of it is this is a top notch entertaining book that had me grinning like a fool most of the time. I recommend this book if you liked the first two books or like a good fantasy comedy romp, now buy buy buy.

  11. 5 out of 5

    R.C.

    The Dungeoneers books are one of the few series where I will 100% totally buy it at full price sight unseen because I know it's going to be awesome. I was not disappointed. I really loved this book, and I think that anyone who enjoys a good D&D game or a good fantasy adventure book will, too. Ruby backstory! Slightly elderly main character! Snark and witty dialogue! Intelligent plot and resolution of conflict that isn't JUST hitting things with axes! I felt that this book, even more than the othe The Dungeoneers books are one of the few series where I will 100% totally buy it at full price sight unseen because I know it's going to be awesome. I was not disappointed. I really loved this book, and I think that anyone who enjoys a good D&D game or a good fantasy adventure book will, too. Ruby backstory! Slightly elderly main character! Snark and witty dialogue! Intelligent plot and resolution of conflict that isn't JUST hitting things with axes! I felt that this book, even more than the other Dungeoneers books, did a great job of giving the dwarves their own personalities, and that added a lot of interest for me. I was along for the ride mostly because it was fun to listen to all the characters interact and figure stuff out. A++ characterization.

  12. 4 out of 5

    John Lester

    It's a great to take a chance on a book that you know nothing about and a author you have never read before. But, to stumble onto a series is the stuff of dreams. I had preordered The Dungeoneers and was impressed by the writing and the writer's skill. Black Fog Island followed and re-enforced my impression. With The Lost Temple of Ssis'sythss I am convinced that I'll read and re-read these books into the future. The resourceful Dungeoneers, seemingly daunting obstacles to overcome, and a plot th It's a great to take a chance on a book that you know nothing about and a author you have never read before. But, to stumble onto a series is the stuff of dreams. I had preordered The Dungeoneers and was impressed by the writing and the writer's skill. Black Fog Island followed and re-enforced my impression. With The Lost Temple of Ssis'sythss I am convinced that I'll read and re-read these books into the future. The resourceful Dungeoneers, seemingly daunting obstacles to overcome, and a plot that just won't let you go. It's just plain joyful reading at it's best.

  13. 4 out of 5

    James Bunyard

    Great Read! Entertaining and fast paced This was a very well put together story. It was a precursor to the first two in the series but it never beat you over the head about it. Overall, with no real spoilers, this was a great continuation of the series. It follows as the other two do as well the adventures...errr...exploits of a team of dwarven dungeoneers. Not having experience playing games similar to Dungeons and Dragons will not impede your enjoyment of these novels but it may increase it

  14. 5 out of 5

    Tom Fletcher

    Another great Dungeoneers title I discovered the series almost by accident, but I love the way the Dungeoneers take fantasy and turn it sideways. It's not just swords and sorcery, it's a group of professionals solving problems in a practical way to finish jobs that swords and sorcery couldn't. And it's interesting to see how a scribe managed to get lumped in with this lot, which by her own self description wouldn't have made sense. It's amazing what a taste of adventure can do, just don't call it Another great Dungeoneers title I discovered the series almost by accident, but I love the way the Dungeoneers take fantasy and turn it sideways. It's not just swords and sorcery, it's a group of professionals solving problems in a practical way to finish jobs that swords and sorcery couldn't. And it's interesting to see how a scribe managed to get lumped in with this lot, which by her own self description wouldn't have made sense. It's amazing what a taste of adventure can do, just don't call it that.

  15. 4 out of 5

    Amy Asadoorian

    I liked it but not as good as the first two I love Ruby and I’m glad she got a backstory. I wish I had known it was out of sequence with the other two when I started because it was very confusing for the first couple chapters. Like the other 2, there were parts that were a bit dry, but the end was full of action and twists and turns. The introduction of the Yaku and maricoxi (and even the portergators) were a bright spot, in my opinion. A good addition to the series. I’ll read the next when it com I liked it but not as good as the first two I love Ruby and I’m glad she got a backstory. I wish I had known it was out of sequence with the other two when I started because it was very confusing for the first couple chapters. Like the other 2, there were parts that were a bit dry, but the end was full of action and twists and turns. The introduction of the Yaku and maricoxi (and even the portergators) were a bright spot, in my opinion. A good addition to the series. I’ll read the next when it comes out and I’ll go back and read 1.5 as well.

  16. 5 out of 5

    Cathy

    The Dungeoneers do it again!! All three of the Dungeoneer books are good, but I still like the first one the best. There are all kinds of monster fish and snakes plus lots of crawling around underground beneath an active volcano. I didn't care much for the character of Ruby: she was so negative most of the time. The Dungeoneers do it again!! All three of the Dungeoneer books are good, but I still like the first one the best. There are all kinds of monster fish and snakes plus lots of crawling around underground beneath an active volcano. I didn't care much for the character of Ruby: she was so negative most of the time.

  17. 5 out of 5

    Soima Traian

    Excellent, but it should be book nr 1 Another excellent adventure of the Dungeoneers! Although it should be book nr 1 not 3 since this is the moment the scribe joins the Dungeoneers in their travels and adventure. Like it's predecessors the book has plenty of humor, action, mystery and interesting plot twists and if possible I would give it 6 well deserved stars . Excellent, but it should be book nr 1 Another excellent adventure of the Dungeoneers! Although it should be book nr 1 not 3 since this is the moment the scribe joins the Dungeoneers in their travels and adventure. Like it's predecessors the book has plenty of humor, action, mystery and interesting plot twists and if possible I would give it 6 well deserved stars .

  18. 5 out of 5

    kelly sanders

    Great Storytelling The Dungeoneers are a great crew. They have very interesting solutions to many commonplace annoyances that make themselves known at inopportune times during a friendly dungeon crawl. I hope the volumes keep coming.

  19. 5 out of 5

    Maegan (and Donald)

    Great book I thoroughly enjoyed this book, another great story in this series. The book is well written has great characters and is a lot fun from start to finish I highly recommend it.

  20. 5 out of 5

    Stacey Fisher

    Funny, imaginative and full of adventure! I love these books! I binge read the whole book as soon as a new release comes out. Lovable characters, imaginative landscapes, awesome adventures and hilarious witty dialog between the Dwarves. Enjoy!

  21. 4 out of 5

    Nichole L Holmes

    I laughed throughout the book what a great.... dare I say adventure? Thoroughly enjoyed this read and am eager for more! The Dungeoneer crew is rapidly gaining ground for my new favorite series.

  22. 4 out of 5

    Kyle

    Expedition at its finest or adventure but don't tell the dungeoners that The book give a flow of page turning delight with crazy characters for the spice. Recommend to be worth the adventure. Expedition at its finest or adventure but don't tell the dungeoners that The book give a flow of page turning delight with crazy characters for the spice. Recommend to be worth the adventure.

  23. 5 out of 5

    Efren J Hidalgo

    Exceptional experience From beginning to end, this book kept me wanting for more. I’m intrigued by the complex personalities each character has and the wonderful dry wit they seem to share. Excelsior!

  24. 5 out of 5

    Jeremy Shelton

    I love these stories I’m a big fan of The Dungeoneers now. I’ve read the first three books straight through and I’m on to the fourth. I will say that this book3 seems to have been book1. Thanks for the great stories

  25. 4 out of 5

    Laura Hosler

    A great ride for fantasy and D&D fans Excellent ! You won't be able to put it down. Wonderful rounded out characters and no Molly's. A blast to read! A great ride for fantasy and D&D fans Excellent ! You won't be able to put it down. Wonderful rounded out characters and no Molly's. A blast to read!

  26. 5 out of 5

    Allison

    Another wonderful adventure Very Indiana Jones in a dwarfish kind of way. Lots of fun to read and i enjoyed the interactions between the dwarves. Some funny conversations.

  27. 4 out of 5

    Jim Dewar

    Heck of a yarn. Very much as good as the first one, and better than the second. Question: when is #4 coming out??

  28. 5 out of 5

    Don Dailey

    Read like it should have been first This is listed as the third book but it read like a first book of the series. Was it supposed to be a prequel?

  29. 4 out of 5

    Craig Russo

    Very rich with detail. The story is a little confusing at spots so you'll probably need to re-read sections. Very rich with detail. The story is a little confusing at spots so you'll probably need to re-read sections.

  30. 5 out of 5

    Alexander Collas

    These books are always a delightful read. It like taking a break to hear a story from an old friend. They are light, easy to read, fun and full of advent.... Oh sorry... I highly recommend them.

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