Posted by: Mad Ness Monster | 06/27/2009

Testament of the Dragon: an Illustrated Novel review


So this thing right here combines “The power of prose combined with the beauty of rich illustrations”, according to the blurb on page 1. Oh, really?

Time there was that Europe was under the curse of the Black Plague, and Justinian, the noble Earl of Sterling soon witnessed his beloved wife contract it. He soon became sick also, and in his rage he spouted blasphemes the likes of which had not previously been heard by an obscenely rich person. In doing so, Justin inadvertently summoned the Great Dragon, who offered to cure Justin of the Plague, if only he’d pledge to be his minion forever and ever.
Now, you’ve probably deduced that the Great Dragon was not a dragon per se, but a Powerful Demon Force, who was Banished Between Worlds by the true, good dragons, and who periodically demanded MORE BLOOOOD of his Damned Minions! Minions who Live Forever and who occasionally transform into Gargoyle Thingies to do his bidding and who have Boils That Will Never Heal!!!
Believe me when I tell you that we readers figure all of this out about 600 years faster than Justin does.
“Justin Sterling was a minion! / Dum-dum-dum-dum-dum! / He sold his soul to cure the Black Plague! / Dum-dum-dum-dum-dum! / He tried to get his wife to do the same thing! / Dum-dum-dum-dum-dum! / But she recognized the devil and she refused! / Smart-smart-smart-smart-smart! / Mrs. Sterling smart-smart-smart! / Justin Sterling duuuumb!”

The Best Parts:
Page 2 – We see the lovely drawing of the Wyrm (that’d be what Justin calls himself while in his gargoyle-like minion form) suggestively licking his sword. This is the image they have picked to copy over and over. Ah, “the beauty of rich illustrations”!
Page 12 – Brooklyn from “Gargoyles” has gone berserk!
Page 13 – BLOOOOD!!! Noooooooooooo!!!!!
Page 15 – Yeah, but the kitten gets to live. Psy-yi-yi... duck?
Page 25 – This is going to end badly.
Page 30 – Somebody likes their Lovecraft, I gather.
Page 33 – Stop bringing my good screen-name into this! 😦
Page 34 – MORE BLOOOOD!!! Noooooooooooo!!!!!
Page 36 – Hi Ken. 😀
Page 41 – MORE BLOOOOOOOOOD!!!!! Noooooooooooo!!!!!
Page 45 – Justin and his date eat raw lamb. Ah, subtle subtexts.
Page 55 – “Mrs. Sterling smart-smart-smart! / Justin Sterling duuuumb!”
Page 62 – This is going to be BAD.
Page 76 – Stop bringing my good screen-name into this!!!
Page 77 – SHEEP!
Page 80 – MORE BLOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOD!!!!!!!!!!” Noooooooooooo!!!!!
Page 82 – So, was it in Baxil’s ClaWrite or what?
Page 95 – Oh, brother.
Page 98 – Why you should never p*ss your boss off, if he happens to be a powerful demon force.

Classic Quotes and Excerpts:
Testament of the Dragon is a publishing event that harkens back to the golden age of adventure literature, and forward to a time when all storytelling will be this evocative and vivid.” – Highly amusing dust-jacket blurb
“Almost leisurely, the Wyrm snatched one (victim), cracked the screaming youth over his knee, and tossed the boy aside, reaching for another with the practiced mannerisms of a chain smoker cycling through cigarettes.” – Page 14

Things I Learned from this Movie/Book/Whatever:
* – Parents: For the last time, SPY ON YOUR CHILDREN!!!
* – Shapeshifters: Don’t transform while underwater. Or, for that matter, in mid-flight.
* – Beer is a good accompaniment to demon summoning.
* – Gargoyle lairs look something like the house the “Aqua-Teen Hunger Force” lives in.
* – Don’t sell the people you love out to evil beings.
* – Some people can be in denial of traumatic events for 600 years. (“Dum-dum-dum-dum-dum!!!”)
* – If you’re on a date and the guy turns into a demon gargoyle thingy, f__king RUN!!!
* – Scotland is still the Lost World.

Things That Can Save Any Book:
Cool Creatures? Don’t make me laugh.
Creative Ideas? No.
Memorable Character? Memorably DUM character.
Memorable Setting? No.
Nifty Illustrations? The illustrations are supposed to be a big selling point, and a lot of work went into some of them, but they’re aggressively ugly.

Drinking Game Potential? Drink when the Great Dragon gets MORE BLOOOOD!!!. Drink again when someone or something gets burninated.

Rating: Danny rating (2)
“Dum-dum-dum-dum-dum-dum-dum! / Dum-dum-dum-dum-Danny!!!”
Publishing Information
Testament of the Dragon: and Illustrated Novel copyright 1997 BIG Entertainment, Inc. Stories by Jeff Grubb, J. Robert King, and Janet Pack, based on characters created by Margaret Weis and David Baldwin. Published by Harper Prism, a division of Harper Collins, New York, NY.
ISBN #: 0-06-105543-3
Related Links
Amazon page – And boy did I get some scary recommendations after searching for this…



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