Tourney of Terror (D&D: Dungeon Academy #2)

Tourney of Terror (D&D: Dungeon Academy #2)
Age Range
Release Date
November 01, 2022
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In the second installment of the Dungeon & Dragons middle grade series, something BIG has come knocking on the gates of Dungeon Academy! The undefeated Waterdeep Dragons have arrived for the Tourney of Terror games, which happens every fifty years and features every monster’s favorite sport: Goreball!

The Dungeon Academy Flumphs are outnumbered, outsized, and outmonstered! But our hero, Zelli Stormclash (a forbidden human, secretly disguised as a minotaur), is no stranger to impossible odds. Just a few weeks ago, Zelli and her crew, the Danger Club, came face-to-face with a maniacal necromancer and his army of undead! 

If this wasn’t enough to raise scales Zelli’s reoccurring nightmare of a dark entity annihilating her world may be more than just a bad dream. Something sinister is lurking in the halls of the academy, and only Zelli seems to notice. But when Zelli uncovers a dark past hidden beneath Dungeon Academy, she unlocks something that will concern everyone at school, every dragon at Waterdeep, and everything within the Forgotten Realms.

Editor review

1 review
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Overall rating
Writing Style
Illustrations/Photos (if applicable)
What worked:
Zelli is a young, human girl currently living and learning in an academy for monsters. Seeing as how monsters view humans as the most despicable creatures, she must be careful that other students and teachers can’t see through her minotaur disguise. She’s been adopted by two minotaurs which creates an amusing mental image of completely mismatched characters. Zelli is inquisitive and daring as she often seems to be the one character most concerned about strange happenings around, and under, the academy. She’s uncovered some forgotten secrets that spell potential danger and she’s determined to get to the bottom of them.
Zelli is surrounded by good and loyal friends who are aware she’s actually human. They’ll never break her confidence and they trust her judgment, as she trusts theirs. Along with Zelli, the Danger Club is comprised of an owlbear named Hugo, a kobold named Snabla, a mimic named Bauble, and a blink dog named Flash. They have a blend of talents that enabled them to defeat a necromancer named Lord Carrion (another word for dead, putrid flesh) in the first book. Zelli is the leader of the gang, Bauble is the brains, Hugo is the “muscle”, Flash can be a distraction, and Snabla is the daring one. By the end of the book, they’ll add one new club member but two of them will be lost.
I had trouble at times remembering what the characters look like but the book includes illustrations to help. The black and white pictures are detailed and depict various events from the plot. It helps to visualize Zelli’s clunky costume and reinforces the humor of a little girl dressed as a terrifying minotaur. Some characters have extra eyes or other body parts and don’t frequently appear in the story. The illustrations help readers picture the minor characters when they pop up. The narrative and graphics work well together to present the Danger Club’s exciting adventure.
What didn’t work as well:
Readers can probably enjoy this book without reading the first one but some significant events have clearly already happened. It might be nice to read the story of how a human girl ended up attending a school for monsters. Also, Zelli and her friends have already defeated Lord Carrion and they’re being haunted by his mental messages from prison. This book mentions both of these past events but readers may want more details. Solution? Read the first book!
The Final Verdict:
Honestly, the Tourney of Terror in the title isn’t a huge part of the plot other than it brings dragons into the story. The plot moves at a nice pace and action scenes are mixed with solving the mystery of a missing Nexus. Young readers will enjoy the strange assortment of characters and the humor shared between the Danger Club members. I recommend you give this book a shot.
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