The World of Rynaga: Prelude
Author: Eric Torres
Release Date: 2007
Publisher: Specimen Press
Source: Eric Torres
Genre(s): Fantasy, Game
Review Spoilers: Medium
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The Prelude to the World of Rynaga is set up in a simple, yet beautiful way. In a set of post cards sent from the traveler and adventurer Solan Sylis, the reader and a fictional Eric Torres gets news from the world of Rynaga. The book is styled like a post card but uniquely laid out to look like a post card from a fantastical land.
There are little easter eggs in the book, most of it written in another language and there for people who want more than just the information planted on the page. The story, while straight forward, ultimately tells an incomplete story. However, the story in the post cards is not the only part of the tale. Included in the footnotes are little tidbits about the world of Veratar. At the end of the book, there is a little map of Solan’s trip.
Part of the experience is looking at the gorgeous art work that takes up about half of the book and is worth every page. Behind each colorful postcard is a description at the bottom of the letter of what we are looking at.
The story requires no previous understanding of the game or the universe, since Solan introduces it as well as the introduction. Solan is a traveling adventurer who tells the story of him solving a mystery that he finds from a mysterious box. He travels to a place where he can get the box both opened and understood.
The greatest flaw of this book, however, is it’s aimless nature. It ends on a cliffhanger, but never really drives the reader there. I found myself curious about the book because of how much knowledge I had in the lore. It feels like the story could have been condensed for the story to be told completely, but then again I would have been happy with a book twice this big.
Prelude ultimately ends with the fact that Solan is lost and might be dead. Nearly all the questions we started with are still in place and none of them have really been answered. This could be a great place for future books, and future plot lines. But for now, I am just left at the edge of my seat, but also wishing I had known Solan better as a character.
Personally, this book was so beautiful I had to give it a 4 star rating, despite the pitfalls in the writing. Visually, it’s stunning. I want a print of every page to put up in my room. The attention that Torres takes to detail is perfect. If you are a fan of Rynaga, this is definitely something to pick up.
Final Thoughts: Gorgeous book, uneven plotting, a must for Rynaga fans of either Iconica or roleplaying, since it is packed with lore.