The idea here is that “Warlords of Llantatis” is a massively-multiplayer virtual reality game of the future. While the technology is more advanced and the game content supremely daft, the basic game concepts and the mentality of the players will be somewhat familiar to those of us who have dabbled in current-day MMPORGs.
The basic story here is that some players in the game encounter a new player, apparently in real life a child who has spent all his life in one room. Concerned for him, they want to find out where he is (in real life) and get him some help. Unfortunately as a brand new, unskilled player, his life expectancy in the game is likely to be very short. And in “Warlords”, dead characters stay dead. If he is killed in game, they may lose the chance to help him. Naturally, a large number of people then try to kill the kid’s character for various reasons, while a others try to keep him alive and get him the help he needs.
The story opens with an information dump which goes on a bit. It’s amusing, but if you find it dull you could skim it without missing much.
This is a very long book. And it’s pretty much all action, following a large cast of characters as they help or hinder each other, accompanied by constant humour. The humour is fairly unsophisticated, but it is funny. The plot steams forward acquiring more threads as it goes, to the point where I was losing track of characters and half-expecting someone to be forgotten by the author too. It’s all a bit manic and I think could have benefited from judicious pruning. But every character’s thread is eventually wound up satisfactorily, which is an impressive feat of plotting.
Very readable throughout and basically well written, though there are a lot of minor editing and formatting issues.
Expect some very crude humour.