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Oof.

Nathaniel “King Crow” Valentine hates a lot of losing lightball games, spiders, and bad service at restaurants, to name a few. But topping this list are the Medics, the cult-like, opportunistic group of healers who take advantage of prisoners in the dungeon of Toroth-Gol. Crow might hate the Medics even more than those who put him in the dungeon in the first place.

Unfortunately for Crow, the Medics control the third level of Toroth-Gol. Not only that, but they’ve imprisoned Crow’s father–and they’re not afraid to use him as leverage to get what they want.

Can Crow rally the allies he needs to rescue his father and make it to the fourth level of the dungeon? Or will Prey House be his final operation?

Join King Crow, Spud, and the rest of the gang as they continue to explore Toroth-Gol in this explosive new series that blends the best of both sci-fi and fantasy.

-Goodreads

Book Information

  • Title: Prey House
  • Series: Toroth-Gol #3
  • Author: Kenny Gould
  • Page Count: 342
  • Genre: Science Fiction, Fantasy, LitRPG
  • Rating: 4.0/5.0
  • Date Read: June 20th, 2024

Opening Thoughts

I originally began my journey through Toroth-Gol when the Castle of 1,000 Doors was a participant in the SPFBO competition last year. The author Kenny Gould continues to pump these out on a fairly regular basis. I read book one June of 2023, book two Dungeon School the following month July 2023 and finally got back to the series with book three Prey House in June of 2024. The series continues to provide some over the top fantastical entertainment for me.

This series continues to be one of my most frequented trips into the new to me genre of LitRPG with the way the adventure is taking place within a giant game like prison. I wasn’t sure about the way Kenny was initially handling the interaction between the system and our protagonist as it provides him additional information on other characters and locations as he comes across them. I’ve since realized I actually like this method. I know there are different levels of LitRPG where it can be described as either soft or hardcore meaning it feels more and more like a game or not. I am preferring this style so far where we have the system interaction but it doesn’t seem to be taking away from the story being told.

Pacing

The pacing of Prey House was certainly on the fast side of things. This entire series is predominantly action oriented. There have been quite a few characters introduced or covered in each of the first three books now but they are all unique enough to easily keep track of who is who. I’ve yet to come across any real issues with names of characters or locations to trip me up. I will mention that I seemed to notice quite a few more editing items in the form of typos in book three than I did the previous two books. I don’t know if I was just more dialed in this time around or not. They were certainly noticeable this time which did cause me a good pause here and there until I figured out what was going on fairly quickly and continued.

World Building

The world building continues to be solid. I’m not sure how the author is doing it, but he’s making sure each book covering only a single level of Toroth-Gol, it still feels absolutely massive. Between the Prey House itself or the area around it such as the old ruins it really feels like a large scale. Then we also have the addition of the world still taking place outside of Toroth-Gol during all of this. I am loving the wide variety of races and cultures found in this world and how these very different characters interact with each other. Enemies may become allies as everyone tries to survive. Yet at the same time, it still feels difficult knowing who to trust in this world at times.

Character Development

The character development is also a solid aspect. With this type of read, I don’t expect a lot but Kenny does a really good job at being overall entertaining yet still adding some depth to lots of these characters. There was a good amount of development beyond just King Crow. We learn more about some antagonists as well as other supporting roles such as the Cara and her family and Jacko and his family. More light was also shed on Crow and his father which added some really nice layers to this story and it’s characters as well.

Roundup & Recommendation

All in all, I’m still having a great time with this series. As I said, this is certainly a bit over the top type of story telling and world compared to some of my more traditional science fiction and fantasy reads. I do realize that going in though and I think that is one of the reasons I continue to have so much fun with this series.

If you have already read and enjoyed the first two books, then you should definitely continue with Prey House. If you haven’t tried this series at all but need a break from the drawn out epic stories and just want something with plenty of action, silly sidekicks and plenty of heart from it’s characters, go back and start with The Castle of 1,000 Doors. These are quick easy reads, so you shouldn’t be out much in the way of time if you give it a try and don’t end up liking it. However, if you do like that one, you now have a series of similar stories to toss in the mix of your future TBR lists.

Scoring

World Building 4.5/5
Pacing 3.5/5
Character Development 4.0/5

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Chad Barnard

Owner/Operator of The Hiking Reader Blog. Sharing thoughts on books and hiking trails and trying to find ways to continue to incorporate both hobbies together.

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