Boekverslag : Quinn Reade - The Quest Of The Dark Lady
De taal ervan is Engels en het aantal woorden bedraagt 3554 woorden.

1 Plot:

The King of The Iron Lands ,Langax, was dying. Everything in The Iron Lands died with him. The first minister of the King, named Bendel, and the Chief Physician, Dr. Delius, sat at his bedside. Delius diagnosed that the King wasn’t ill, but that a magic spell was cast upon him by a master wizard. He knew this because he was a wizard himself. Nobody in The Iron Lands was aware of that, because all the wizards had been banished a long time ago. Now the King was dying, he had to tell it to Bendel.

Suddenly one of the servants called them. She said that the King talked. They rushed to his bed. The King’s lips moved and he said: “The Dark Lady.” He said that there was only one man who could find her. His name was Wulf, the mighty bladesman. This man was condemned to death, because he was accused to be a traitor. Bendel said that Wulf send his whole command into the grip of the Other Things on the south-eastern border.

In the death-level of the Roya Dungeon Wulf met a woman, named Reen. Because of the darkness, he was unable to see what she looked like. After a while he even began to love her.

But suddenly Wulf was taken out of his cell and brought to Bendel and Delius. He agreed with the proposal on one condition: he wanted to take Reen with him. So Reen was also taken out of the dungeon and brought to Wulf. For the first time now, they could see each other. Reen was extremely beautiful and she also turned out to be an excellent warrior. Delius also went along with the two beloved because he could protect them with his magic.

To find the Dark Lady, you had to cross the Terrible East, where a lot of evil creatures lived: the Slimy Ones- great snails with bloodsucking mouths; the Formless Things- shapeless flesh, like blobs of pudding, that can also engulf a man and with terrible suction draw the blood from his pores, the skin from his flesh, the flesh from his bones; the Gibberers- with their unending racket, fanged, clawed and expert swordsmen. The people of the Iron Lands were in an endless war with the creatures. That made it very difficult for the travellers.

The next morning they departed. After a lot of ours sitting in their saddles they reached an ancient and terrible, tangled forest. This was the beginning of the Terrible East. They helped a couple of soldiers with slashing some creatures and after that they rode on. Suddenly a huge dark cloud towered thousands of feet into the air, coming at them very fast. Delius screamed that they had to lie flat on the ground. The cloud was an enchanted cloud, with was send to kill them. The lightning of the dark cloud struck everything that was made of metal. That was why they had taken their armour of. Somehow they had survived the storm.

Meanwhile Delius had made an incantation, which would surround them for a while with a protective and invisible wall. Nothing could pierce it, until another sorcerer finds the right formula to break it down. So they went on and it was twilight as they cantered across the field of battle. After a while they stopped and pitched camp to sleep. Now they had some time to discuss a lot of things, like why they had to find the Dark Lady. Wulf told that he and the King had crossed the Eastern Forest a long time ago and that they had found a new civilisation behind it, a new kingdom. That new kingdom had a new king. The story about the Dark Lady said, that she had to marry a king to use her powers. Once she is married to a king, she is the most powerful sorceress in the world. That is why Delius suspects that that king is married to the Dark Lady and that she had cast the spell on their King.

The went on early in the morning. The spell still worked and so they could easily ride on. After a while they found out that Delius’ spell had ceased, but the Other Things did not attack. Delius said that somebody else, probably the Dark Lady, had cast a spell on them to keep them alive. After half a day the reached the end of the forest. Before them stretched a vast and treeless expanse of Plain, going on so far as the eye could see. It appeared to be made of a slick red glass, from which the high sun struck reflection that turned the sky red. They rode for ours and were totally exhausted. Suddenly they saw in the distance a big shadow, what had been caused by a huge cloud.

While they were enjoying the coolness of the shadow they suddenly saw a pack of huge and gruesome, two-headed dogs, about 100, coming at them very fast. There was nothing else to do then fight back. There were to many dogs and so they couldn’t stand very long. When the three exhausted warriors couldn’t fight back anymore, they were saved by blue fire. The fire suddenly appeared and where it hit a dog, it died. This spell was made by the Dark Lady to exhaust the three travellers. They saw a troop of armoured horsemen, carrying lances from which black pennons streamed. The horsemen told them that they were send to take them to Ganry, seat of Naadon’s Court. They also told that the dogs were send to exhaust them, so that the horsemen could take them with them without any troubles. The leader of the troop called himself Koth.

It was nightfall before they entered a pleasant Wood. Here they spent the night. Koth claimed Reen to spend the night with him and because they were unarmed they couldn’t do anything about it. This was very painful to Wulf. The next morning they rode on and they dropped down into a valley. There Delius told that all the creatures arose from the “Holocaust”. The exploding stars gave off certain rays that changed men into Gibberers, animals into men, made all sorts of species warp and mutate and made them compatible in mating one with another.

Much later they arrived at a castle, the castle of the king. They were brought inside and got decorated with black jewellery. After that they were taken to the king and his wife, the Dark Lady. Wulf saw the Dark Lady and she was the most beautiful woman he had ever seen. He had never seen so much beauty in one woman. He suddenly fell in love with her, because she had enchanted him. The king asked them why they had come all the way and how it was in their kingdom. They refused to talk. Reen had to accompany Koth and she had to do anything he said. They used Wulf as entertainment; he had to fight against the best man with a blade. That appeared to be Koth himself. Delius was taken to the lower chambers, to the hands of Grath, the chief torturer, who had to make Delius talk.

That night Wulf had to fight for his own life with Koth. It was a long and bloody fight, which was won by Wulf, who chopped the head of Koth’s body. Now that Wulf had won, he also was treated like a victor. He was given the luxurious room of Koth. When he was asleep the Dark Lady woke him up to tell him that he had to kill the king, because the Dark Lady would marry the best king alive, King Langax. Wulf had to do it with the knife he got from Reen.

In the morning Wulf was ordered to see the king. With his knife in his boot he approached him. Wulf had to take the oath and then he would be onder Naadon’s command. As he faced the king he stabbed him in the chest and he died. At the same time, the Dark Lady lost her powers immediately. Everybody in the hall assaulted Wulf. After a long fight Wulf, Reen and the Dark Lady slashed themselves to the other side of the hall, where the exit was. They saved Delius out of the torture chamber. Just before they got caught Delius used his magic. He teleported them back to the Iron Lands, to King Langax, who was almost dead.

Langax and the Dark Lady married and everything was back to normal. Wulf and Reen were given “The Nornland Duchy”, with all its lands, rents, castles and claims.

2 Title:

a) The entire story is about search for the Dark Lady. Wulf, Reen and Delius are ordered to find her and take her to their King Langax. Before they have found her, the group has to go through a lot of troubles, like slimy creatures, a terrifying storm, an exhausting desert with bloodthirsty two-headed dogs and so on. You could see all of this as a quest. A quest of the Dark Lady.

b) Quinn Reade chose this title, I think, because it is a complete summary of the story. Everything in the story is about that quest.

3 Theme:

a) I don’t think that this book contains a message for the reader. In my opinion puts Quinn his fantasy into words. Perhaps he tried to say that you mustn’t give up, like in the quest of the Dark Lady. Wulf, Reen and Delius didn’t give up and so they accomplished their mission. They really believed in something; their King, they had a purpose.

b) This book contains more aims, I think. The author tries to entertain you and he also tries to excite you, which he did very, very well. He creates a fantasy world of his own, which he prescribes very well (the scenery).

c) The theme is in some sort of way connected to the title. I chose this book because of the title. Fantasies and battles with swords and stuff like that fascinate me very much. So in my case is the title connected to the theme.

4 Structure:

a) The climax is when they first see the Dark Lady. The story is about finding he, so that is why I think that moment is the climax. But bringing her back to the Iron Lands and killing the king Naadon are climaxes too. These climaxes proceed from the main climax: the first meeting with the Dark Lady.

b) The ending of the story was exactly as I expected. If they didn’t find the Dark Lady, then the King would die. I just knew that the King wouldn’t die, so I expected that Wulf, Reen and Delius should find her and bring her to the King.

There was one thing I did not expect. That was when Reen and Wulf freed Delius in the torture chamber. They had to go all the way back to the Iron Lands through the Terrible Forest. But they didn’t , because Delius teleported them right to the Roya Palace.

d) The writer uses one flashback. This happens when Delius, Reen and Wulf sit around the campfire in the Terrible East. Wulf tells that when he was a bladesman a long time ago, the King stepped into his tent. He said that he was here in top secret. Only he knew of the King’s presence. The King said that Wulf and his troop should protect him on his way trough the Eastern Forest. He agreed of course and only he and the King came back alive. The blame was put on Wulf and he got imprisoned in the death-level dungeons.

The author did this to tell why Wulf was unjustly imprisoned.

5 Characters:

Wulf of Niedrigaard:

He is the best warrior in the Iron Lands. Once he was accused of treachery, so he was condemned to the death-level. Their he met Reen, who became his beloved. Wulf is a very strong and muscled man who is a very good swordsman. He fairs nothing, also because his life is already lost. He is very good in slaying the Other Things, because he was before his condemnation a captain of a troop soldiers at the frontier. He serves the King as good as possible and when necessary he gives his life for him. You get to know him by the way he acts and the way he thinks; directly.


She is a highway robber. She got caught by the King’s servants, because she killed two men of the Highway Guard. They condemned her to the death-level as well. There she met Wulf and they fell in love. Reen is very loyal to Wulf and loves him as much as he loves her. But she had to make love with another man, named Koth, against her will. They were captured by the black horsemen and because they were unarmed they had to do what they were told. Koth wanted to spend the night with Reen. She is a good warrior too and therefore takes Wulf her with him on his quest for the Dark Lady. Reen is very beautiful and she has golden blond hair.

Dr.( sorcerer ) Delius:

He is the one who accompanies Reen and Wulf. He was sent along with them, because he could protect them with his magic. He is the Chief Physician of the King and he is also a master wizard. In the Iron Lands are all wizards banished by the King’s First Minister, Bendel. That is why Bendel and nobody else knew that Delius is a wizard. But when the King was dying, Delius had to tell it Bendel. Because Delius had cast a spell upon himself, Reen and Wulf, they were able to cross the Terrible Forest with all its creatures. That means that he was extremely important to Reen and Wulf. They wouldn’t have made it without his help. Delius is an old man, but still able to fight. He was also tortured and he didn’t give up, so you could say that he is hustler with a lot of resistance.

The Dark Lady:

She is the greatest sorceress in the world. She can only use her powers, when she is married to a king. That is why they had to find her. She was married to Naadon, an evil king. The Dark Lady is the most beautiful woman in the world too. As Wulf saw her, he couldn’t resist her beauty at all and he fell in love with her (she used a spell). She is very important, because she is the only one who can save the King.

The King:

He is the one to be saved. A spell has been cast upon him and made him deadly ill. He himself is a very good warrior and swordsman. He is said to be the best King alive. That is why the Dark Lady wants to marry him.


He is the King’s First Minister. He takes all the decisions as long as the King is too ill. You don’t really get to know him.


He takes Wulf, Reen and Delius with him out of the desert. He is a servant of king Naadon. He also is his best swordsman. That is why Wulf had to fight him and shopped of his head. Koth is strong and muscled too, but not as good as Wulf is.

King Naadon:

He is the evil king, who wants to rule over the world by using the powers of his wife, the Dark Lady. Naadon is stabbed and killed by Wulf.

The Creatures:

They arose from the Holocaust. Almost all of them are evil. Most of them are in war with the people of the Iron Lands.

6 Setting / Background:

The story takes place in a world made up by the author. Its called the Iron Lands. Here lives King Langax and his people. After that the story continues in the Terrible East, where a lot of evil creatures live. When Wulf, Reen and Delius got through the Terrible Forest, they arrive in a desert of red glass. There they are captured and cross a lot of valleys, a forest, rivers and so on. Then they arrive at a black palace, the palace of king Naadon and his lady. They stay there a while and then they are teleported, back to the Iron Lands.

When it takes place I don’t really know. It might have taken place in the middle ages, because they fight with swords and wear that kind of clothes. On the other hand you can say that this is impossible, because there didn’t live evil creatures, like The Slimy Ones, The Gibberers and The Formless Things in the middle ages.

7 Tone:

The ultimate tone of the story is optimistic, because everything comes to a good end. The bad people die and most of the good people survive. It is also told in an exciting way, with al lot of action and battles.

The author doesn’t criticise a group of people or anything politically.

8 Narrative technique:

It is told by:

c) A narrator who only reports everything and he is not really involved in the story.

9 Genre:

The book has got more than one genre. One of the genres is adventure. Their have to cross the Terrible East to find the Dark Lady. They confront a lot of obstacles on their way, so you could say it is an adventure-story.

You can also say that the genre is science-fiction/fantasy. The story is made up by the author and it can never happen to one of us. The story contains a lot of creatures and wizards with magic and stuff like that.

10 Opinion:

The Quest of The Dark Lady is one of the best books I have ever read. I enjoyed it very much. Once I had begun to read I couldn’t stop anymore. The genre of the book, fantasy, is my favourite genre. The way Quinn prescribes the scenery and the battles is magnificent. He made me think that I was involved with the battles. The creatures created by the author were also very cool. The main characters had a common purpose, finding the Dark Lady. I think that having a purpose is a very positive thing to do. You want to achieve that purpose as good as possible.

There is only one thing that disappointed me a little bit. Stories with happy ends are not my favourite stories. The Quest of The Dark Lady is a story with a very happy end. This was for my not a reason to find it a bad story. What I’m trying to say is that I should let it end a bit worse.

11 Extract:

But it was enough; Koth cried out, and even as he raise his sword, his right leg crumpled, its tendons cut. He dropped to one knee, and Wulf slid free, and then, like a rubber ball rebounding, was on his feet. Koth knelt there, leg gushing blood, face gone pale, and raised his sword. Wulf struck at it and struck again, an Koth parried, but he knew now that he was doomed. On the third strike, Wulf got leverage and wrenched; Koth’s blade went flying. Koth’s eyes widened, staring into Wulf’s as he tried to rise and fell back, his right leg useless. Then his cry rang out across the hall.

“Quarter!” he bellowed.

Like the tolling of a bell, the Dark Lady’s voice came.

“No quarter given. Strike, stranger!”

Wulf drew in a deep breath, staring at the helpless Koth. “Aye,” he rasped, and then he struck. There was a sound not unlike a melon breaking with overripeness, and something went rolling across the dining hall and fetched up hard against the throne. Koth’s headless body fell back, supine, the right leg warped beneath it.

Wulf straightened, chest heaving, and, his face contorted in a snarl, saluted the throne with his blade

The King’s voice rang out. “Disarm him!”

I read this on page 108. I chose it, because of the ‘horror’. Parts, like this one, with a lot of blood and heads rolling across the room are my favourites. Quinn prescribes scenes like this one very well. He also tells the reader a lot of details. There were some more gruesome battles in the book, but this one I preferred. Another part at the end of the book prescribes a battle too. Only this time with a lot more people involved. I also liked that part, but chose the other part.
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