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I, Strahd: The War Against Azalin
by P.N. Elrod
Amazon rating
Critique Circle rating 
PublisherWizards of the Coast
Release Date1998-06-01 (added to CC 5 Mar)
Amazon Sales Rank1,217,605
...Some of the parchment pages were the color of cream, thick and substantial, made to last many, many lifetimes. Other pages were thin and desiccated, positively yellow from age, and crackled alarmingly as Van Richten turned them over. There were no ornate illuminations, no fussy borders, only lines of plain text in hard black ink. The flowing handwriting was a bit difficult to follow at first; the writer's style of calligraphy had not been in common use for three hundred years. No table of contents, but from the dates it looked to be some kind of history.

He turned to the first page and read:

I, Strahd, Lord of Barovia, well aware certain events of my reign have been desperately misunderstood by those who are better at garbling history than recording it, hereby set down an exact record of those events, that the truth may at last be known . . . .

He caught his breath. By all the good gods, a personal journal?



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Member Reviews
(5 Mar)
Review notes on: "I, Strahd: The War Against Azalin by P.N. Elrod"

In short: This book, and its ebook versions, fail to be a good novel, as their main purpose was a roleplayer comparison about the differences in leadership, options, and power, when a vampire conflicts with a Lich. Vampire and Lich, herein, by the official Dungeons & Dragons roleplaying rules.

Despite that, the book is a decent reading, but lengthy and predictable on more than one occasion, just as well. Azalin is too cliche, and i would hint at the second D&D movie, within which a much more motivated Lich was performed. He is the antagonist, to Strahd, and hence the winner is clear, from title forward. It could have been written better.

Strahd, the Vampire & Dracula clone then, does not convince, as he makes mistakes, which regular mortal aristocracy & nobility had to resolve, without any vampiric superpowers.

The book is old, from a time, when the improved revisions to the Ravenloft campaign setting were not yet made. It is weaker than the fandom, and it couldn't compete with 'Curse of Strahd' league quality.

If I would publish a copycat version, then Azalina the Lich Lady would help a young & weak vampire spawn Andrei von Zarovich to hold his throne, and guarantee peace on the border between their realms. Not, for good, but so the undead stand united, and can focus on empowering themselves, or combine attacks against typical victims.

If you are the type of reader, who enjoys a story, within which both protagonists stick with the decision to annihilate & usurp each other's opposite, instead of making any better options the slightest consideration, then it could still be a good reading, to you.