Sorcery! Gamebooks
Location: Kakhabad, Old World, Titan
References: 800
Publication Details
Author(s): Steve Jackson
Illustrator(s): John Blanche
Cover illustrator: John Blanche
First published: 1985
Number 4 (in Sorcery! series)
ISBN: ISBN 0-14-007209-8
Previous Book: The Seven Serpents
Next Book: Last in series
Wizard (Series 1)
Cover illustrator: Mel Grant
First published: 2003
Number 15 (in main series)
ISBN: ISBN 1-84-046438-0
Previous Book: Armies of Death
Next Book: Return to Firetop Mountain
Cover illustrator: Robert M. Ball
First published: April 7 2022
Number 19
ISBN: ISBN 0-70-231429-3
Previous Book: The Seven Serpents
Next Book: Secrets of Salamonis

For other uses of The Crown of Kings, see The Crown of Kings

The Crown of Kings is a single-player role-playing gamebook written by Steve Jackson, illustrated by John Blanche, originally published in 1985 by Puffin Books, and is the fourth and final book in the Sorcery! epic. It chronicles the player's passage through Mampang Fortress and final confrontation with the Archmage. The Crown of Kings most closely adheres to the traditional Fighting Fantasy formula established by early books like The Warlock of Firetop Mountain, though it is longer and more difficult than any previously published gamebook in the series. It forms part of Steve Jackson and Ian Livingstone's Fighting Fantasy series. It was unnumbered in the original Puffin series (ISBN 0-14-007209-8), but is 15th in the Wizard "Series 1" (ISBN 1-84-046438-0) and 19th in the Scholastic series (ISBN 0-70-231429-3).


The Legend of the Crown of Kings[]

The legendary Crown of Kings is at last within your grasp - or is it?

At the end of your long trek, you face the unknown terrors of the Mampang Fortress. Hidden inside the keep is the Crown of Kings - the ultimate goal of the
Sorcery! epic. But beware! For if you have not defeated the Seven Serpents, your arrival has been anticipated...

Two dice, a pencil and an eraser are all you need for this adventure – YOU decide which paths to take, which dangers to risk and which monsters to fight.

Complete with the
Sorcery! Spell Book, The Crown of Kings can be played either on its own, or as part of the whole epic.

The Crown of Kings - Back Cover ("Adventure Gamebooks" Edition)


The book in general follows the original rules set down in The Warlock of Firetop Mountain. (see Game System)

Unique Rules[]

  • The introductory rules offer the reader a choice of a "simple" (where no magic is used and fights are run according to standard Fighting Fantasy combat) or an "advanced" game (which relies heavily on magic).[1]
  • The player has a series of magic spells that can be used, each costing between 1 and 4 stamina points.[2]
  • The player may also call upon the help of Libra, the goddess of Justice, once in the adventure. In calling on her the player may ask for "Revitalization" (restoration of skill, stamina, or luck points to their Initial level; "Escape" which allows you (when the text offers it) to escape a situation; or "Removal of Curses and Diseases" which can take place at any time and removal all curses or diseases that the player labours under at the time.[3]

Equipment List[4][]

The list below is what the player begins with if they start this book having not played The Seven Serpents, otherwise they begin the adventure with what they had left over from the end of that book:

Covers and Illustrations[]


The original cover of the book was designed and illustrated by John Blanche. When the book was republished by Wizard a new cover was designed and illustrated by Mel Grant. The cover was redone by Robert M. Ball when the book was later republished by Scholastic.

The Crown of Kings Cover Variants
1985 1987 1993 2003 2003 2022
Sor04AdvBanner Sor04DragonFoil Sor04DragonNoFoil Sor04WizSLE Sor04Wiz Sorcery4Scholastic
Sorcery ver.I
Sorcery ver.II
Wizard Scholastic
£2.501 £4.992 £X.xx £5.99 £5.99 £5.99

  1. Price of 1st Impression (incorporating The Sorcery Spell Book); £2.95 for 4th Impression
  2. Price of 10th Impression


The interior illustrations were by John Blanche. There were 41 full page illustrations and 11 minor repeated illustrations scattered throughout the text. The paragraphs with a full page illustration were: 1, 18, 36, 54, 73, 91, 109, 127, 144, 161, 179, 198, 210, 233, 251, 268, 286, 304, 321, 339, 357, 375, 393, 411, 428, 446, 464, 481, 499, 517, 534, 551, 568, 580, 615, 646, 674, 706, 736, 764 and 800.

The black and white map was by John Blanche.

Intertextual References[]

Other Media[]

Main Characters[]

YOU: Hero of Sorcery!



Further Notes[]

  • This book was the longest of all the gamebooks with 800 references.
  • If you had to renounce Libra in The Seven Serpents you have lost this book before you even read the first paragraph.


  • In the Wizard edition the "Libra - Goddess of Justice" section of the rules (page 18) are copied from The Seven Serpents and thus assumes that the player has not yet reached Mampang Fortress.
  • (152) gives you an option to use a Yellowfruit skin against the Sleepless Ram, but no such object can be acquired at any point in the Sorcery! series.
  • (455) lists some of the reptiles that you will be phobic to, but "giant frogs" are included - these are in fact amphibians!
  • (545) When arriving at the She-Satyr village, two She-Satyrs (sentries) step forwards and your escort waves "her" away. Two sentences later, we are told "the guard lets you pass". So it would seem that "two She Satyrs" in the earlier sentence is an error.
  • The Black Elves (144) are described as literally black as night, but the illustration gives them light skin tones.
  • (568) asks whether to trust the Sightmasters and wear the tunic they offer. However, the illustration shows them with their swords already drawn and the tunic thrown to the ground.


Puffin Edition[]

For Avis, Celeste, Pere and Xavier[6]

Wizard Edition[]

For Christian[7]

See Also[]


External Links[]


  1. The Crown of Kings - p.8
  2. The Crown of Kings - p.15
  3. The Crown of Kings - p.16
  4. The Crown of Kings - p.17
  5. The Puffin edition mentions the player has food but not how much. The Wizard edition corrects this by stating the amount.
  6. The Crown of Kings - pg.4
  7. The Crown of Kings - pg.4