With Leo's commitment to Arnacript finalized, the champ announces his retirement to the world and prepares to work full-time on Ohlavar Quest. The challenges in the game world become steeper as Leo sets his eyes on the first of many artifacts, and he joins a dungeon exploration group in an effort to acquire the piece.
But forces in the real world don't want the champ to retire from Astafar Unlimited, and they will do whatever it takes to get him back.
Even if it means killing his parents.
My Opinion: 828 pages, $7.49, Not available on Kindle Unlimited
Full disclosure: Got this as an advanced review copy but purchased it once it was released.
The price point for this novel is going to be a sticking point for some people but remember that it’s over 800 pages long. Though, the last 5% is a preview of the author's other series The Destroyer.
In book 1 - Undefeated, we’re introduced to Leo the Lion, champion fighter in a virtual reality game. He’s recruited to test a full immersion fantasy VR game that is indistinguishable from reality. Only someone is willing to kill to stop him.
In book 2 - Leo Lenox gets back into the full immersion VR game Arnacript, he has to try and secure the first relic in the game.
The first 25% of book 2 does a nice job of wrapping up the storyline of someone trying to kill Leo, reintroducing the characters from the real world and virtual world, reminding you about the plot, and establishing that this is an action focused story.
There’s a lot less time spent in the real world in Duel Wield than Undefeated. It’s mostly clean up around him dedicating his time to the game and a reminder of part of the reason he’s doing all this, the treatment of his parent’s Alzheimer's.
Once Leo is back in the game, he stays there for most of the story. He pops out occasionally but the time he spends in Arnacript is more fleshed out in this book. One of the most noticeable improvements over book 1 are the expanded explanations of the game mechanics at work in Arnacript. There are also large cities to explore, an expanded history of the world, new races are introduced, an adventurer’s guild, dungeons are explored, and new fun characters.
I had a great time reading this novel and devoured it in a couple of days and it improves an already good series.
Lion’s Quest: Duel Wield gets a 9 out of 10.