Fantasy Quest

Fantasy Quest is very much a Dungeons and Dragons game come to life, or if you prefer a World of Warcraft quest come to life.  Our heroine, Astiria (aside from having a very Fantasy-esque name) fights the good fight with a mixture of common sense 'real world' strategy (ie: kneeing a goblin in the groin is as effective as kneeing a would-be purse thief) and skills she learned from playing fantasy world games.

Lerik is amusing, charming and has just enough conceited male ego to be irritating, but not obnoxious.  He definitely wins points in my romance hero book for being able to take a joke without getting huffy.  The interactions between himself and his Wood Elf, Oopec (who looks literally like an Elf made out of wood) are funny and filled with affection. 

Astiria can sometimes be a little too 'everywoman' for my tastes--her complaints are typical (about her physical appearance) and I think she dwells too long on whether or not Lerik would like her if he saw the 'real' her, but overall she was fun and snarky.

I would have liked to see more about how...creative Lerik and Astiria could be without breaking a rule placed on them, but I was enjoying the story too much to suffer from that.  I'm glad the appearance of the Goblin King was kept to such a minimum.

My only real complaint is that the whole thing with Marsoon is kind of contrived by the end of the story.  It starts out entertaining (how Astiria ends up in the situation is amusing), but ends up meaning very little since, as one of the characters remarks, leveling up to Level 10 in any RPG is the easiest task.  It’s the later levels that give you trouble. 

I also found it amusing that in the book Astiria tries to finish a novel titled 'The Stone Maiden', an earlier novel by Tina Gerow now out of print.

Book Blurb for Fantasy Quest

20K Words
Astria Petrey wants nothing more than to lay on a sandy beach reading a good book at the exclusive Fantasy resort. Pestered by dumb jocks in tight shorts, Astria decides to play the hotel’s role-playing computer game - Fantasy Quest. Only the game is more than she could ever imagine!
As soon as Astiria creates her perfect man—an online Warrior named Lerik, she is sucked through a portal to the mythical Verrath to meet him. There, Astiria must do battle against a host of trials.
If she is unable to succeed, Astiria becomes property of Marsoon, the Goblin King.
Accompanied by a real live gargoyle named Max, and Lerik, the sexy warrior she created from her wildest fantasies, Astiria must discover herself in order to not only win the game, but make her way back home.
Only then can she realize that true love awaits, if only she believes…

Night Owl Reviews Aug, 2009 4.50