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Ghosts of Ascalon (Guild Wars #1)

3.71  ·  Rating Details  ·  1,939 Ratings  ·  163 Reviews
250 years ago, Ascalon burned . . .

Desperate to defend his land from advancing hordes of bestial charr, King Adelbern summoned the all-powerful Foefire to repel the invaders. But magic can be a double-edged sword—the Foefire burned both charr and human alike. While the charr corpses smoldered, the slain Ascalonians arose again, transformed by their king’s rage into ghostl
Mass Market Paperback, 370 pages
Published July 27th 2010 by Pocket Star (first published January 1st 2010)
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Community Reviews

(showing 1-30 of 3,000)
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Mogsy (MMOGC)
I had a very different take on the novel as someone who started off knowing very little about the lore of Guild Wars. I had to have a bestiary open on my browser just to look up the races of some of the main characters. Needless to say, there had to be some details of important events or figures that were surely lost on me.

Despite that, I was able to enjoy the book. At first, I thought getting through it would be a struggle because I had expected to lose interest the moment I realize I have no i
Dang Ole' Dan Can Dangle
Guild Wars saved my life. Oh no, that sounds mawkish and hammy. Guild Wars changed my life? Certainly more accurate of a statement, but still too mawkish and hammy. Let's just say that Guild Wars had a considerable impact on my life and I'm very glad it did. So, here's less of a review and more of a story involving myself and this Guild Wars book.

It all started a few years ago, Summer 2011. My grandfather in Florida was convinced that he was about to die, so with some contention my mother and I
Sep 25, 2012 Jake rated it it was ok
Great for fans of the game, average as a fantasy novel.
Maria Patenaude
Aug 20, 2012 Maria Patenaude rated it it was amazing
The best part about this book is that, as a long-time Guild Wars player, I've been reading about places I've visited, events I took part in, and foes I defeated. It's easy to immerse oneself in a world that's this familiar. The writing is descriptive enough that I'm sure even non-fans would acclimate quickly. The death of Prince Rurik is one of those gaming moments you never forget; you are with him when it occurs, and you are unable to save him; so reading about the world-changing consequences ...more
Camilla Hansen
Feb 19, 2014 Camilla Hansen rated it liked it
Shelves: fantasy, game
After finally having read all three books in the Guild Wars universe, it feels as if I have a more complete impression of each book, being able to compare them to each other.

Surprisingly, this book was not the best among them in my honest opinion, though individual aspects may have been better than in the others.

The general idea of gaining a mission, finding companions to accompany the main character etc. is not too bad, but it still feels somehow generic.
The mission holds some importanc
William Bentrim
Oct 10, 2010 William Bentrim rated it really liked it
GuildWars Ghosts of Ascalon by Matt Forbeck and Jeff Grubb

Seeing what I post here most of you will be surprised that I am not a gamer. I view RPG as crack for the scifi fan. I am frightened of the possibility of immersion and a subsequent sublimation of my personality. In other words, I’m afraid I could get hooked on a game and spend all waking hours playing it. Since I am already hooked on reading and donuts, I avoid the temptation of RPG.

Getting on topic, Ghosts of Ascalon supposedly is setti
Jan 11, 2013 Nine rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Ghosts of Ascalon is a tie-in novel that came out while Guild Wars 2 was still in production. It was intended to give Guild Wars players a taste of what some aspects of Guild Wars 2 would be like, as well as fill in some of the history that happened in the 250 years that elapsed between the timelines of the two games. I didn't play Guild Wars, but I do have some experience with Guild Wars 2. Having a little knowledge about the game made it really easy to visualize the characters, hear their voic ...more
Mar 02, 2013 Wendy rated it really liked it
Originally posted at The BiblioSanctum

I read Edge of Destiny early in my Guild Wars 2 career and stepped into that book expecting to find incredible stories of the heroes that were mentoring my various characters. Instead I found a bunch of emotional teenagers whose failure to defeat an elder dragon in the book had turned them into bitter, whiny teenagers in the game. The events of Destiny’s Edge and the actions of the characters dropped my opinion of them and undoubtedly affected my appreciatio
Aug 12, 2011 Talizmyn rated it it was ok
Recommends it for: fans of Guild Wars
Ghosts of Ascalon is first of the books intended to bridge the gap between the online RPG, Guild Wars, and its successor, Guild Wars II. The book introduces a new race, the Sylvari, and takes us into a changing land of dragons, war, and a quest for treasure.

It should be said, if it is not already obvious, that I do play and enjoy Guild Wars. I bought this book because the in-game lore is of interest to me, and because I plan on playing Guild Wars II.

I would say the story was 'okay' - it's not sp
May 31, 2015 Jeshu rated it liked it
Shelves: fantasy
More like 3.5. I have so many contradictory feelings regarding this book.
I started playing Guild Wars 2 about two months ago and I was fascinated by the Ascalonians and their tragic history. I was expecting to find more about them in this installment. I foolishly thought that it would be set in the past of Tyria, and that I would get to read about the fall of King Adelberg from his own eyes. Instead, I got a tale of adventure where a group is charged with the task of storming Ascalon City to re
Jan 10, 2013 Tanner rated it it was amazing
This book, by far, was one of the best books I have read. Also, playing the game helped me connect with this book even more. The four main characters are great! The main character, Dougal Keane, is the only person to travel back into Ascolan and make it out alive. His group goes through some tough times and they lose some friends in battle. One of my favorite battles is towards the beginning, when they face the giant and almost fail to beat him. I would recommend this book to anyone that likes a ...more
Thomas Sullivan
Jan 04, 2016 Thomas Sullivan rated it it was amazing
As someone whose first Guild Wars experience was GW2, I had no knowledge of the background lore of the game. While it was pretty easy to pick up the events of this enormous fantasy world and its story, I was curious about the lore behind the game so I decided to give Ghosts of Ascalon a try. I was very pleasantly surprised. This story features interesting characters representing the various races and political bodies of the world of Tyria as they embark on what might appear to be a typical adven ...more
Paul Williams
Feb 02, 2014 Paul Williams rated it it was amazing
My thoughts of this Guildwars novel..... fantastic :D really does set the scene well, bridging the world I know from the game to the time frame of what is in Guildwars 2. Characters were great, detail was great, interplay of the party nice. What is more I was wanting to know more and more of "what happens next" as I read, and in the end I was still wanting to know....

The start of the book really builds up the premise of team working and the fact that things may go down hill rapidly. Then progre
Todd Haefele
Apr 06, 2013 Todd Haefele rated it really liked it
If you haven't played either of the Guild Wars games, this may not be as easy to follow. However, having played both games extensively, I enjoyed the story. It did end rather abruptly though.
Jan 15, 2016 Gabrielle rated it liked it
Shelves: adult, fantasy, fandom
As a start to the novel series of Guild Wars, I didn't find that this was a fantastic start. The writing wasn't fantastic, and the characters weren't interesting enough to be invested in when they died or were injured. The only characters I found real were Dougal and Killeen. There were a lot of information dumps that could have been inserted better.


Honestly, Killeen was really one of the characters keeping me interested - and not just because a part of me shipped her with Dougal.
Krystal Ball
Apr 04, 2014 Krystal Ball rated it it was amazing
Recommends it for: those who don't like drivel
(Never played the game. Great book.)

It had a few minor flaws, but I love this book. It got the story told and didn't fluff around, didn't revel in its own angst. The pace was good and fast. The characters were believable, loveable, and noticeably different from each other. They built unlikely relationships which really did work. They had moments of camaraderie that you could almost feel in the air. It resonated and made you care. Also, Dougal Keane is a hell of a main character, my favourite of
Feb 10, 2016 Lisa rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: favorites
Atemberaubendes Fantasy-Feeling in einer magisch-abenteuerlichen Welt. Lesen, Lesen, Lesen <3
Jan 21, 2016 James rated it liked it
I would recommend this to anyone interested in the lore of the Guild Wars series of MMOs. A good chunk of the book is framed as the members for the inevitable ragtag multiracial adventurer band relating their own cultural myths and legends as stories around the campfire, and this was I thought the most interesting part.

If you aren't into Guild Wars, then this becomes merely a decent fantasy novel. It's quality is higher than one expects from a novelization based on a video game, but there is not
Jan 01, 2015 Rowie rated it liked it
Recommends it for: fans of Guild Wars 2 that love to read about the lore
Shelves: fantasy
This novel made me realize that Guild Wars 2's writing isn't all that spectaculair. The real magic begins when you can craft your own story or already have certain memories attached to characters.

I did enjoy reading this, but I didn't enjoy it as much as Edge of Destiny, which had been a great character study of characters I already love.
Ghosts of Ascalon is an enjoyable read once you're already invested in the mmorpg. It gives great background information on events that are mentioned in the ga
Jan 28, 2011 David rated it really liked it
Well, this was better than I expected of a game tie-in. It tells the tale of an unlikely band of adventurers in their quest to recover a lost symbol of power that is hoped to bring about a truce between two warring races - in an effort to unite all of the races against an even greater danger.

As a standalone story, I'm not sure how well it is, since I'm familiar with the lore. But I do think that there's enough background information regarding the races and the important events.

The characters the
Apr 06, 2013 Dariusz rated it really liked it
Shelves: favourite
I think it was a quite good story. Also my first, this long, book in English and even if i could not understand everything(because of my lack of knowledge), it was nicely done and well-built. However characters weren't so good developed and you could feel that some unanswered have appeared in your mind about things that should be resolved. Ending was as expected ... kind of ,,happy" but the turn of events just before wasn't(happy and as expected). For me of course. Much more curious person would ...more
May 08, 2013 Trent rated it it was ok
You know, for a book called Ghosts of Ascalon, I was really expecting more Ascalonian ghosts. As it stands, it took half a book to even get to Ascalon in spite of Star Gate style instant transportation, and we didn’t see hide nor ectoplasmic tail of a ghost until of the way through the book.

So, really the book is quite a bit misleading. It’s not –as I had wrongly expected, a tale about journeying to the ruins of Ascalon City. True, that does happen, but mostly that’s just an excuse. The “plot”
Dec 19, 2011 Neves rated it really liked it
Well After a long reading hiatus i finally decided to get back to reading and decide to do so with this video game novel.

It was very interesting to read this book, being quite the fan of the Guild Wars series i couldn't let it pass my book radar, with this book (and "Edge of Destiny") we get to know some more about how different Tyria is after the events of the first game, we get to read how the awakening of the dragons influenced the world and the races that live on it.

I really enjoyed the grou
Ash Chamberlain
Mar 09, 2012 Ash Chamberlain rated it it was amazing

Book Description from

250 years ago, Ascalon burned . . .
Desperate to defend his land from advancing hordes of bestial charr, King Adelbern summoned the all-powerful Foefire to repel the invaders. But magic can be a double-edged sword—the Foefire burned both charr and human alike. While the charr corpses smoldered, the slain Ascalonians arose again, transformed by their king’s rage into ghostly protectors and charged with guarding the realm . . . forever. The once mighty kingdom became
Apr 21, 2011 Filipa rated it really liked it
Shelves: favorites
It is a quite amazing book for someone that didn't dabbled in the world of writing fantasy novels as it was Forbeck.
One of things I loved the most, as a Guild Wars player, was the fact that it wasn't all about using skills and mindless stories, where everything in the end would be killing monsters, get the prize and go away. Still you have the feeling of adventure and the feeling of real characters, which for me is a good thing. As a fantasy novel reader, I've read many things that had the D&am
Eric Mereen
Sep 28, 2011 Eric Mereen rated it it was amazing
Shelves: read-2010
This book is the first in a series of book about the Guild Wars universe. This series is what will bridge the 250 year storyline between Guild Wars and Guild Wars 2. Below is my take on the book.

This book does a great job of explaing the story, so a person who never heard of Guild Wars will be brought up to speed rather quickly. The characters are well designed, as is the plot. The story didn't feel rushed, it felt well paced. I felt the authors did a great job on balancing the story, detai
This was by far one of the best books I've read in the past weeks.

I might be biased because I've been playing the game Guild Wars since it first went online. But it was so nice to read a story about the world I've been spending so much of my free time in. I loved to read about Pyre Fierceshot and his work with Gwen in the Ebon Vanguard because I witnessed it (in the game).

I admired all the history of Tyria that has been handled in that book. I've been a fan of the Charr ever since I laid hands
Mar 28, 2011 Matt rated it really liked it
I picked up this book on a whim after coming across the website for the upcoming PC game GuildWars2. I absolutely love some of the ideas presented on their website, how they took some classical RPG stereotypes and flipped them on their head. Gone are the classic archetypes of hobbit, dwarf, and gnome, the elf is gone as well (sort of) replaced with the Sylvari, a plant based race that are born seasonally from The Pale Tree. They are certainly one of the coolest fantasy races I have seen in a lon ...more
Kevin Redmond
Feb 14, 2013 Kevin Redmond rated it liked it
While not a literary masterpiece in any sense of the term, this was a short but enjoyable excursion into the world of Tyria. As a standalone fantasy novel, I'm afraid it would fall rather flat, but as an excursion into the gaming world of Guild Wars it was a fun read. I would have given it four stars (I reserve 5 for the reads I find truly amazing), but there were several gaffs and issues with the novel that merit a lower score.

The first of these is Dougal, the main character, suddenly changing
Aug 10, 2013 Anna rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Let me preface this by saying, I did not sign up for these feels.

I play GW2, and I played GW1, and I started this book because I wanted to learn more about the charr. Well, I got what I wanted and what I didn't know I wanted, wrapped in a package of fun, interesting characters of every playable species in GW2. Ember Doomforge, Kranxx, Gullik Oddson, and Killeen are a pleasure to read about, and the humans Dougal and Riona hold their own as the story progresses and we learn more about their share
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I'm an award-winning, New York Times-bestselling author and game designer and happily married father of five, including a set of quadruplets. For more on my work, see
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Other Books in the Series

Guild Wars (3 books)
  • Edge of Destiny (Guild Wars, #2)
  • Sea of Sorrows (Guild Wars, #3)

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