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The Order of the Stick: No Cure for the Paladin Blues by Rich Burlew
Cover Artist: Rich Burlew
Review by Paul Haggerty
Giant in the Playground Games Trade Paperback  ISBN/ITEM#: 9780976658030
Date: 1 December 2006

Links: Read the Comic / Buy the Book / Show Official Info /

The Order of the Stick: No Cure for the Paladin Blues takes up right where the first book in the series The Order of the Stick: Dungeon Crawlin' Fools left off. Our heroes are flush with excitement over their big win over the evil lich Xykon and his goblin henchmen. Now it's time to rest and resupply and prepare for their next great adventure. The only problem being that their last great adventure isn't quite over yet. Xykon maybe dead, but then again, he's a lich. He was dead to start with, and he's not particularly happy about the way he's been treated. Meanwhile a mysteriously cloaked figure rides ever closer, having sworn to bath his swords in the blood of the evildoers ... which are, of course, our heroes. Fantasy realms seem to run on the same rule as the real one: No good deed goes unpunished.

The Order of the Stick:
Start of Darkness
On the Origin of PC's
Dungeon Crawlin' Fools
No Cure for the Paladin Blues

I waited far too long before purchasing this book. And the reason was purely selfish. The author, Rich Burlew, had signed and personalized my copy of the first book, and I was hoping to pick up the second the same way. But unfortunately, increased travel costs for the author to make it to a local convention apparently made this a dying dream. So I was forced to just buy it wholesale and laugh uproariously through it in its pristine state.

So the Dungeon of Dorukan is no more, Xykon the Lich is destroyed, Roy's quest is over, and all is right with the world. Except, of course, for those few niggling plot threads. Roy needs to get a new weapon to replace his ancestral sword. What remains of the Linear Guild wants revenge, Xykon is making a rapid come back, the "Creature in the Darkness" is still clueless but committed, Redcloak is still strangely competent and hard at work, and the mysterious cloaked figure is bent on retribution for crimes against the multiverse.

So what's new this time? How about three hundred pages of diversionary side quests, dragons, a dragon's hoard, a stuck up paladin, random and inexplicable encounters with bizarre monsters, a spiteful teenage sorceress, dirt farmers, assassins at the inn, more massive explosions, gender swapping, brigands, a senile patriarch, the creation of creation revealed, and a cat named Mr. Scruffy.

If you thought life in the dungeon was complex and dangerous, then wait till you see the peaceful countryside.

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