It is only in adventure that some people succeed in finding themselves.
—Andre Gide, from the opening pages
Lagadin's Legacy (previously titled Tomb of the Elf King) is an adventure novel written by Jonathan Anthony and Samuel Inglis, two first-time writers who live in different countries but communicate via Internet to collaborate on tales. This is the first of such, and is meant to kick-start a fictional universe devised by the duo. It was published in December 2012 through Amazon.com's Create Space company.Gulliver Crow is a treasure-hunter-for-hire, along with his partner, Boris Palenik. Crow happens to be the wayward son of a deceased archaeologist, and he is constantly haunted by an apparition of his father. One day, Crow is hired by a man to retrieve an ancient necklace supposedly cursed with incredible power, the only relic of an ancient kingdom of elves that existed many years ago. But on this adventure, Crow and Boris bump into a brother-sister team of archaeologists, who join their party after they come under attack by nefarious parties also desiring the necklace. In the course of the quest to find the tomb of the last Elf King, the only way to unlock the necklace’s power, Crow goes through some serious Character Development, and Boris is revealed to be much more than just your typical comic relief sidekick…
Adventurer Outfit: Crow is described as having a usual outfit for his travels, consisting of a dark brown short-sleeve shirt, light brown pants, dark grey boots and an Indiana Jones-style satchel.
Artifact of Death: The necklace of the Elf Kings, though it is never exactly stated the nature or properties of its power. All we know is that it has enough magical power to potentially destroy the entire human race.
Continuous Decompression: A plane gets one of its windows blown out by gunfire, and causes the cabin to have all oxygen sucked out due to the plane’s height. Thankfully, soon the pilot drops the plane, and oxygen returns.
Darker and Edgier: The book is designed as a deliberately darker and edgier deconstruction of a pulp adventure novel.
Foreshadowing: There is a throwaway line where it is mentioned that Boris left the Chechen mafia because he “didn’t get to kill enough.” At first, it seems like simple black humor on his part. But when you see what he acts like in the third act…
Genre Shift: Starts off as an adventure, then an arcane thriller, then an adventure again, then an arcane thriller again (with a political sub-plot straight out of Robert Ludlum), then a horror story, before coming full circle to adventure... again.
Giant Mook: Boris acts as Crow’s own Giant Mook. Too bad he has to fight him eventually…
Girl of the Week: Mention is made of Crow having had experience with lots of women before meeting Eve.
Informed Ability: Averted, as we get to see pretty graphic examples of Crow’s skill with fighting.
Subverted with Conlon. He demonstrates a genius level of manipulation behind-the-scenes throughout the first half of the novel, but his injury in the second half means that we never get an opportunity to see him do all that stuff up close.
Ironic Echo: A joke concerning Christmas cards gets repeated later, and while the first time it was a third-person comment, the second time it’s stated by a character.
It Got Worse: About by the end of the second act, things really turn dark and edgy for this sort of tale.
Lampshade Hanging: Several instances, most notably when Conlon admonishes Crow for making him feel like “a villain in a pulp novel.”
Last Name Basis: Crow is always referred to as Crow in the third-person narrative. But Boris calls him “Gully,” which Crow seems to be fine with. And up until Chapter 11, Crow always calls Eve “Miss Rider,” much to her annoyance, as she knows damn well he doesn’t say it to be respectful.
Meaningful Name: Gulliver’s first name is, of course, a reference to Gulliver’s Travels. His last name refers to the crow, which is a symbol of death in some Native American cultures, and this is appropriate, considering Crow is an incredibly vicious killer in combat.
No One Could Survive That: Crow falls an uncertain amount of feet after his chute is torn, and lands on the rocky volcanic terrain of an island. He survives, with only being knocked unconscious being the result.
No Sympathy: Humphrey Crow really doesn't give half a crap about the hurricane of misfortune and death that his son is being consumed by. No, his legacy is so much more important. What a guy.
Oh Crap: Crow goes, “ah, shit” after he loses Carl’s trail in the hotel.
Only a Flesh Wound: Conlon, incredibly survives a gunshot to the face, with it costing him only half his looks…and his sanity.
What Could Have Been: The original plot was much less complex, and more classic adventure. Elements such as a British sidekick, and Crow having his Achilles Heel being a deep love of children didn’t make it to the final story (though a child’s death does have a major effect on Crow). Also, the book was originally to be titled "Tomb of the Elf King," but this was changed as that title was too misleading.
What Happened to the Mouse?: We never learn what happened to Conlon’s manservant, Valentin. Or what becomes of Marcus and his men, who so generously let Crow stop Boris.
Why Won't You Die?: A variation; Boris asks Crow in the final fight why doesn’t he stop fighting.