Myles's Reviews > Dark Legacy

Dark Legacy by Robert E. Vardeman
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Oct 07, 11

bookshelves: shared-universe, fantasy, lemming-reads, abandoned, mtg
Read from October 05 to 07, 2011

I kinda knew this wasn't going to end well. As a "prerevinist"* Magic: The Gathering novel it would make me wince a little even if it were written impeccably. It aren't [sic].

Yes. I was/am very serious, as serious as only a nerd can be, about the fictional world based on a trading card game. It's like being a Trekkie except there's even fewer of us and the conventions aren't as good. Heck, we don't even have a name. I stopped playing the game some time ago and certainly haven't bought any of the new novels or comics (Wizards/Hasbro let the standards slip since the novels/comics weren't profitable anyway) for even longer, but I was reluctant to give this one away without even trying to read it.

The "prerevinist" novels are still canon where they aren't contradicted in newer releases but I knew that Dark Legacy as the intended novelization of the expansion set The Dark (the one with the crescent moon), which was given a new and much better treatment by Jeff Grubb as The Gathering Dark, was super-redundant. I was also wary because Grubb is well-known for salvaging as much as he can from the older sources, like the limited-issue Armada comics, as a form of tribute and creating an engaging new whole out of it all. Grubb didn't salvage any of what Robert E. Vardeman did here. Some character names are the same because they're pulled from the same cards. Vardeman's Dominaria (the primary world in Magic: The Gathering), or Dominia if you're old old school, doesn't even resemble the one sketched out by the other early authors.

I've read other Vardeman books and he's supposed to be a better sort of write-to-order genre author, I liked his Keys to Paradise trilogy well enough in eighth grade (though I wouldn't reccomend it to a discerning adult), but Dark Legacy is cliche after cliche and with dialogue that's three thees and a thou'st short of a bad Renaissance Faire.

*"Prerevinist" is a term for all the Magic storyline novels and comics published before 1998 and before the publishing of The Brothers' War and the anthology Rath and Storm when Wizards of the Coast set up standards to keep everything consistent.
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Reading Progress

10/05/2011 page 8
2.0% "Reading this out of obligation, as its one of the few older Magic novels I haven't read yet."

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